Great coffees come in two varieties: those which taste like coffee; and those which dont. Food lovers want foods that taste like themselves; wine lovers, on the other hand, want wines that taste of anything but wine. Coffee lovers are more tolerant; we value both sorts. Coffees that taste like coffee are called "classic cups;" coffees with a unique taste dont have a collective name, but here Ill call them "unusual coffees."
Classic cups are tough to describe; they just taste like coffee. But they are easy to compare and rate, because some clearly taste better than others. Unusual coffees are hard to score; its like comparing apples to oranges. But they are easy to describe, because they all taste so different. The distinction between classic cups and unusual coffees is a piece of good luck for someone starting out. You can learn to score by comparing the classic cups; and you can learn to describe by comparing the unusual coffees.