Department Of Agriculture Standards To
Certified Grades Of Green Kona Coffee
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Rules of Coffee Standards
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TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
AGED: A cupping condition that may affect sales.
Occurring when parchment is stored for a long
time usually at least 2 years. This causes chemical changes
that lessen acidity and increase body. Green beans usually turn
a golden or caramel color. (Prevention-Some buyers look for
aged coffee, Prevention is through timely processing.)
BLACK BEANS: 1 BLACK BEAN counts as a full imperfection.
Usually it’s dead coffee beans that died on the tree due to disease
or stress. Blacks will also occur through poor processing when
cherry or beans are left unattended in areas or containers that
cause them to die or start to rot. A common occurrence is when
cherry bags are not emptied completely and old coffee is left in
the bags till the next time the bag is used. (Prevention-Sound
harvesting and processing practices that includes good sanitation
and quality control at every step.)
BAGGY OR BURLAPY: A condition that affects the cupping
quality. An off taste in cupping that resembles weak roasted
coffee with a baggy burlap essence. Poor storage in bags in humid
conditions contributes to the defect. (Prevention-
It is not a processing or technological defect, but a post processing
handling and care problem. Rapid inventory turn over
is the best remedy.)
FERMENTED OR SOUR: A major
defect affecting the cupping quality. Occurs
frequently to unsuspecting. A winery vinegary
flavor caused by the sugar to acid changes in the cherry and mucilage.
Some say it resembles the rotting pulp smell after wet processing.
The green beans may turn a yellowish shade in color a lighter color
than normal green beans. If not sure test by
using pliers and smashing and opening the beans and smelling it.
The smell will be of a sour vinegary taint depending on degree of
defect. Caused by improper harvesting of over ripe and tree fermented
cherry. Keeping too long after harvesting and
fermentation process starts in the bag. Poor processing
and having too much pulp left. Poor fermentation
in wet process (leaving too long). (Prevention- Timely
harvesting of quality cherries is the first step, do not harvest
over ripe or brown coffee and mix with high quality cherry.
Process cherry within 24 hours of harvesting. Do not store
in burlap bags over 12 hours and stack. Cherry pulp should be at
zero after pulping. Do not ferment over 14 hours. Use lots of clean
water when washing parchment after fermentation. Dry immediately
FRUITY: A flavor resembling a fruit, cherry, sweet
and acid. Usually happens when too much cherry skin is present
and the fermentation process is not totally complete. Also occurs
when you dry process. This is when the cherry is dried with the
cherry pulp on. It can also occur when the coffee cherry dries
on the trees due to the inability to harvest soon enough. (Prevention-Do
not let cherry stay in the pulp and dry. Insure proper fermentation.)
QUAKERS AND FLOATERS: Light discolored beans.
Floaters are not as impacting on flavor as some other defects
such as “SOUR” or “BLACKS” but a significant number will affect
the cup giving it a peanutty flavor and
when these beans are roasted they appear light in color. Floaters
usually are immature, underdeveloped, or blighted beans that are
harvested. In the wet process many of these can be removed.
(Prevention-Good harvesting techniques where green, immature
or diseased cherries are not picked.)
RANCID: Displeasing flavor or odor like rancid oils.
Oxidation of oils causes deterioration of the oils and it turns
rancid. Most notable is when roasted coffee is stored for an extended
period of time letting the oils actually spoil. (Prevention-
Always buy fresh roasted coffee and only in amounts that you are
able to use before the condition sets in. Keep as air tight as
possible and store in a cool place)
IMPORTANT POINTS TO CONSIDER
Quality of Kona may be changing due to:
Cross breeding of varieties
Introductions of other varieties like: Caturra, Catuai and Yellow varieties
More low elevation coffee
Pruning practices where younger verticals are prevalent.
Cultural practices such as re-introduction of husk and pulp.
Grading and Prices will be affected by bean size.
Some varieties do not have high percentage of Extra Fancy
and Fancy green beans.
Industry protection by Research and Development of disease
resistant strains, High yield varieties, High cupping quality varieties,
Fingerprinting of varieties to protect our strains and collect royalties
on our research.