Matchless Coffee: Thanks to the Graders

Ever wonder how each type of coffee ends up at your local coffee joint? Well, the coffee graders have a large part in deciding how that happens. Although they may not necessarily trek over mountains and through streams and across the world to get there, they definitely do have a great career doing something most of us really love, drinking coffee. This is the job description of a Green Coffee Seller. This means that the coffee beans are fresh before they are roasted. The beans are examined thoroughly and specifically with a number of specifications in mind.

The beans should be fairly consistent in size and shape. This is essential for an even roast. The small beans will roast much differently than larger beans. Different size beans make roasting inconsistent because beans will roast and pop at different times.

The graders are also looking for a consistency of color. Beans that have uneven coloring could possible suggest that the beans have been dried at different rates. It is also a sign that beans are being mixed. This too will lead to poor roasting.

The beans should be divided by their region and then again by which cultivator they came from. They should be harvested and processed and then dried according to their region and cultivator as well. This will ensure a quality roasting and final product. Beans should also be processed soon after they are harvested. This is because the beans will start to ferment before they are roasted after they have been harvested. Drying the beans prevents the fermentation from occurring and ruining the beans.

It is quite common to have coffee beans floating in water in order to determine which ones are defective. Beans have different density and therefore will float differently. Finer beans occur because of dry processing. They will also have a brown 'silverskin' which is otherwise known as a fox bean. However, if this silverskin can be removed easily by rubbing then it is not a defect; simply just evidence that it was dry processed. Then there is the consideration of under ripe beans. These will have the same silverskin but it cannot be removed by rubbing. These beans will produce coffee with an unwanted sour taste.

The art of drying beans is quite significant. Many farms and plants will take great pride in their drying processes. Improper drying is definitely easily evident, which are often chemical treatments that can be quite harsh on the bean. Beans that are dried improperly will often have a mottled appearance.

Beans that were dried properly should first be placed on a patio for the skin to dry. Then they are sent through a mechanical dryer. A superior drying process will have several stages where beans are sent through the dryer that is about 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The beans will then have an even color and perfect moisture.

Graders also look for beans with a white edge. This white edge is significant because it means that the beans were stored somewhere too humid, or their drying process was incorrect. Good, high quality beans should be even in color and have a bright appearance that is matchless. Then there is the smell. Beans should always have a fresh and delightful aroma. Sometimes poor processing will give the bean a smoky aroma or a musty smell. Give thanks to all the bean graders that provide you with only the best coffee.

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