Coffee Grading is a True Art

The Art of Coffee Grading

Grading coffee is truly an art form. It requires a lot of skill and knowledge to sure that the coffee you find in stores and shops is of the best quality. Coffee is graded before roasting and a person who does it is called a 'Green Coffee Seller'. This grading expert is trained to know all of the characteristics to be inspected and they can tell a good bean form a bad bean with matchless skill. The average person could only dream of having the skills an experienced grading expert has. They know how good your coffee will be before it ever hits the sales floor.

Bean Traits

There are many traits of a bean that need to be evaluated in the grading process. These traits are carefully examined by the grader and sometimes it can be a tricky process because even slight differences can end up being huge differences in the end. Here are the main traits that have to be considered during the grading process:

Size and Shape: The beans should be uniform in size and shape. This will help to ensure an even roast since larger beans and smaller beans have different roasting time and that means the timing will not be able to be adjusted properly.

Color: Similar color is desirable because uneven color suggests that the beans were dried differently. It could also indicate a mixing of beans from different cultivars which will lead to problems with roasting and the resulting flavor.

Region and Cultivar: Beans should be separated by region and cultivar. This helps to ensure roasting and the final product are even and consistent. By making sure the region and cultivar are the same with each bean, it can be ensured they were dried the same.

Processing: Beans should be processed as soon after harvest as possible. After harvested beans start to ferment which producing unwanted compounds. If drying is put off too long the flavor will be greatly affected. Additionally the type of processing used is inspected. Wet processing involves separating beans of different densities by removing floating beans during the wet washing process. Dry processing is a more meticulous and efficient system of separation. Dry processed beans will have a brown color which is similar to the color of unprocessed beans. However, when rubbed the skin comes off of dry processed beans and not under processed beans.

Drying Aspects: The signs of improperly dried beans are obvious and well checked. Harsh mechanical techniques, drying too fast or infrequent turning during drying all result in a mottled appearance. Properly dried beans are dried slowly enough to let the skin dry and have several, short periods of mechanical drying. They will result in an even color and the right moisture content needed for proper roasting results.

Tell Tale Signs: White edges on beans indicate bad drying or storage and will not produce a good flavor regardless of your espresso or coffee machines. Bright appearance is a sign of a good bean. Smell: Finally, the smell of the bean can say a lot. They should have a fresh scent without a smoky or musty undertone.

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