Grading Coffee

If you have ever had the pleasure of visiting a specialty coffee shop, you may have found yourself wondering how the shop owners decide what kind of great coffee makes it into the shop and which kinds don't. The answer lies with coffee graders. Coffee graders give all coffee beans the thumbs up or thumbs down, and what they say carries a lot of weight in the coffee world. A good score from the coffee graders can get coffee fans everywhere buzzing.

Coffee Graders in Action

Long before the first steaming hot sip of coffee hits your lips, you should know that coffee graders have traveled long and hard, on arduous journeys in unpleasant and sometimes dangerous territories, to make sure you don't have to settle for second best in your cups. You may think the biggest challenge when it comes to coffee is how to choose a good quality for your coffee beans, but the challenge starts well before then.

The grading of coffee happens well before the coffee is packaged and shipped to you back home. Before coffee hits the commercial market, a coffee grader known as a green coffee seller makes decisions about which beans should even make it to the roasting process. The "green" in the name refers to the fact that the coffee is raw - that these are coffee beans in their pre-roasted state.

Before they head off to be roasted, coffee beans are checked in a number of ways. First, all beans have to be of similar size and of approximately the same shape. Beans that are similar in size take a similar amount of time roasting, and which means your coffee taste won't be thrown off a mix over roasted and under roasted beans. If you throw large and small beans in together, the small ones will pop and burn before the large ones even brown at all.

After the roasting process, new graders come along, and these graders are looking for different things in the beans. First and foremost, graders are looking for beans that have similar colors. When beans are different colors, it usually suggests that they have been roasted differently, which will impact the taste of your cup.

Likewise, they want to see that beans have been separated according to where they were grown. While mixes of beans are sometimes used in the final product to achieve a particular taste, this has to be done with care. Simply through beans together from all over the world will leave you with one unpleasant cup of coffee. Further, without this separation, you could be shelling out big bucks for what you think is matchless Kona coffee only to find out what you really bought was Folgers.

The next time you drink a great cup of coffee, spare a thought for the work of the coffee grader who helped put it on your table.

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About The Author, Lindenwalhard.
Linden Walhard publishes normally for , an online publication about coffee grinder reviews and coffee grinders. His comments on how to choose coffee a bean grinder are found on his site .