How to determine the quality of the coffee bean?

How to determine the quality of the coffee bean?

How to determine the quality of the coffee bean?

Have you ever seen a coffee bean with a much cheaper price than another or vice versa, perhaps a coffee bean from the same varietal, but in a different process that cost more? In turn, this has made you think about why there is so much variation in coffee prices?
It should be noted that there will always be an abysmal difference between the cost of a commercial coffee and a specialty coffee, likewise, the production of an organic coffee or a fair trade coffee can greatly affect the final price of the coffee.
In addition, it is important to mention the quality of the coffee, since it has an important effect on the sale price and is undoubtedly a differentiating factor.
That is why in today’s blog we will explain how to determine the physical quality of the coffee bean. Also, what factors are involved in it. So it’s time to get comfortable and venture into this magnificent information and make it clear that the customer will always be willing to pay more for the quality of the coffee. Each client is unique and looks for different things; you find the one that only looks for price (that is not our client) and the one that looks for quality and differentiation.

Determining the physical quality of coffee

1. The smell and humidity

The smell of coffee

It is the first determination that a good buyer or a taster makes. The smell should be characteristic of fresh, dry coffee.
Unpleasant odors from rest, dirt, mold, chemicals, gasoline or others are indicators of poor quality and coffee should be discarded for human consumption.

La calidad del grano de café

The percentage of moisture in the coffee

La calidad del café

The humidity of the coffee bean should be between 10.5 and 12%. Since, if the humidity percentage is below 10%, it means that the bean is very dry.
In this case, it is very difficult to adjust a good roasting curve, which negatively affects the final quality of the drink. When the humidity percentage is above 12%, it indicates that the coffee is very humid and, therefore, it is not possible to do a good threshing or an adequate roast.

«How to determine the quality of the coffee bean?»

2. The decline

A sample of 250 grams of dry parchment coffee is taken and threshed. The threshed cherries are weighed again and the percentage of loss is determined.
A coffee with good physical quality must have a loss of 18% or less. If the percentage of waste is higher, it will be indicating that the coffee has a large percentage of small and vain coffee beans.

la merma

«How to determine the quality of the coffee bean?»

3. The size of the bean

cualidad del grano

To determine the size of the coffee bean, a series of sieves called “Meshes” are used, through which the coffee beans are passed. These sieves have different graduations and range from 12 to 18 mesh.
Depending on the mesh in which the highest percentage of retained beans is, the coffee is classified into the following groups:
“Premium”: Coffee on 18 mesh.
“Supreme”: Coffee on mesh 17.
“Extra special”: Coffee on 16 mesh.
“Europe”: Coffee on 15 mesh.
According to the experts: “Colombian mild coffee for export must have at least 50% of the beans retained above the 15 mesh”.

Whereas, coffee held on a 14 mesh is classified as a standard coffee. Below the 13 mesh are the “corridors”, which is how we call the set of beans with quality defects.
However, there is an exception, and they are the so-called “snail” beans that are popular in certain markets. These are small, round, good quality coffee beans that are retained on the 12 mesh.

«How to determine the quality of the coffee bean?»

4. Identify defects

This is a very important and vital step, since healthy fruits are separated from defective ones here, it should be noted that this is the most complicated part and it must be done by a professional who can recognize each of the defects at a glance. of the coffee.
In a good quality coffee only 0.5% of beans with point drill and 1.5% of pasillas are allowed.

The performance factor

Once the analysis is finished, the yield factor is calculated from the weight of the coffee fruits in good condition and suitable to continue with the process, in addition to the bean with the drill and the pasillas.
This factor indicates how many kilos of dry parchment coffee are needed to obtain 70 kilos of excellent export-type coffee.
When the resulting factor is less than or equal to 92 it is indicative of a coffee of good physical quality. That is, the lower the factor, the better the quality.
On the contrary, a high yield factor will indicate that it is a poor quality coffee.
In conclusion, if you are a roaster it is important to know the type of bean you are buying, since thanks to this you will be able to identify the quality of the roast that you manage to extract and as we always say, a roaster never stops learning, so we wait and serve you this information to achieve those quality flavors that you long for.

If you enjoyed this article, we recommend you to read How is the quality of cup coffee determined?

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