What do these classifications mean and how does that affect us?
(Hint: There is no such thing as brewing or roasting in a “premium” or “gourmet” way. That’s just silly)
As coffee became more of a commodity we needed to find ways to classify the number of defects, screen size and cup quality that a particular sample possessed.
Currently classifications are broken down to these four main sections:
- Specialty grade coffee – (Must be pretty much perfect.)
– No more than 5 defects per 300gs of coffee.
– No primary defects are allowed.
– Free of faults and taints.
– No quakers* permitted and a moisture content between 9-13%
- Premium coffee.
– 8 defects per 300g.
– Primary defects are permitted.
– May contain 3 quakers.
- Exchange coffee
– 23 defects per 300g.
– 5 quakers allowed.
- Below standard or off grade coffee
– 86 defects per 300g.
Primary defects include;
Black bean, sour or stinkers, cherry, stones.
Secondary defects include;
Parchment, husk, chipped, insect damage, partial black, partial sour, floater, shell, stones, water damage.
*Quaker is an unripened coffee bean. It often has a wrinkled like surface and they do not evenly change color when roasted.
Brazil as a different classification scale but it is very similar.
Now go impress your friends next time you drive by one of these claims.