Posts Tagged ‘Coffee Grading’

HONOLULU (Usa) – The Advisory Committee on Plants and Animals, attached to the state Department of Agriculture, will meet Wednesday, Nov. 17 to consider one or more quarantine zones on the island of Hawaii to prohibit the importation of green coffee bean
At issue is a serious infestation of the Coffee Berry Borer in local crops reported by Kona coffee farmers. The pest infestation was confirmed by the United States Department of Agriculture  Agriculture Research Service Systematic Entomology Laboratory.
The purpose of the meeting will be to hear testimony from the Hawaii coffee industry and, if warranted, to develop a request to the Board of Agriculture to adopt an interim rule restricting the movement of green coffee beans into the state.
The meeting is 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 1849 Auiki Street, Plant Quarantine Station Conference Room, Sand Island.
Persons wishing to provide testimony may do so in the following ways:
Via email to:
Via fax to: 808-832-0584
Drop off or mail to: 1849 Auiki Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96819
Oral testimony will be accepted at the meeting. Testifiers must provide a contact phone number if they wish to receive confirmation their testimony has been received.
It is imperative that interested parties provide testimony either in person or in writing as this will determine the committee?s recommendation to the Board of Agriculture by the end of the month, said Rep. Clift Tsuji (District 3  South Hilo, Panaewa, Puna, Keaau, Kurtistown), chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture.
The coffee industry in Hawaii has a history spanning 200 years, and we don?t want to see it collapse because of our inattention to contain or eradicate the coffee berry borer infestation.
It is unknown at this time how the coffee berry borer will affect Kona coffee yields and quality of the product. The coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei) is considered the world?s most destructive coffee pest.
Researchers estimate that the damage caused by the coffee berry borer worldwide is about $500 million per year in a global industry worth $90 billion per year.
Currently, there is no provision in Hawaii Administrative Rules that addresses the coffee berry borer or that restricts movement of coffee relative to this pest. An interim rule may be adopted in the absence of effective rules if a situation is dangerous to public health and safety or if the ecological health of flora and fauna is endangered as to constitute an emergency.
The Plant Quarantine Branch of the DOA has requested the adoption of an interim rule to prohibit the movement of coffee plants, plant parts, unroasted seeds, and used coffee bags out of a quarantine zone in the Kona area of the island of Hawaii, except by permit.
The Advisory Committee on Plants and Animals may accept or amend the request and submit their findings to the Board of Agriculture which is scheduled to meet in late November. The committee may also reject or defer the request.
Violators, under the proposed rule, would be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not less than $100. The maximum fine would be set at $10,000. The interim rule would be valid for no longer than one year.
FACT SHEET  Coffee Berry Borer
Current Condition:
The Department of Agriculture has surveyed about 65 sites statewide. Of these sites, 21 are infested with the coffee berry borer.
All infested sites are in the Kona area of the Big Island.
The infested zone includes the area from mile marker 29 on Highway 190 (Mamalahoa Highway) and mile marker 93 on Hwy 19 (Queen Kaahumanu Highway), south to mile marker 62 on Highway 11, east of Naalehu.
In addition to the infested zone, the DOA has reports from about 100 individual farms that may be infested.
The coffee berry borer lays its eggs in the coffee cherry and as the eggs develop into larva, the larva feed inside the coffee bean. The bean may be further damaged by secondary fungal, bacterial and insect infestation. The combined damage can reduce yield, lower the quality and destroy the entire bean.
Eradication/Control Strategy
There are no chemical insecticides available in Hawaii that can effectively control coffee berry borer. As the pest lives inside the fruit, chemical control strategies are limited.
While it is difficult to contain the coffee berry borer, even with the establishment of quarantine zones, the dissemination of the contamination can be retarded for many years through improved pest management practices. The pest spreads through human activity.
<a href=””>Gourmet Coffee</a> in Hawaii
There are 6,500 acres under cultivation statewide, with annual production running between 6 and 7 million pounds.
Kona has produced coffee continuously since the early 1800?s and supports nearly 600 independent farms. Farms average 3 acres and only a few have 50 or more acres. Total Kona coffee acreage is more than 2,000 acres, producing more than 2 million pounds in most years.
Kauai has the largest coffee orchard in Hawaii and in the United States with 3,000 acres in production.
Maui has several small coffee farms spanning from Kaanapali, the slopes of Haleakala, and an organic farm in Hana. Maui has a total of 500 acres of coffee planted on converted sugar cane lands.
Oahu has more than 100 acres of coffee in Wahiawa and Waialua.

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This is part one of a multi part article.  Enjoy I am sure it will be all over blogs everywhere fast.

The classification of coffee
To any one starting their own career in the coffee sector or any one already boasting some background in it, though wishing to widen their own technical knowledge, please remember henceforth that the classification of green coffee and cuptasting altogether represent one of the key points from both a technical and a commercial point of view.
If you get to know the classifications of the different coffee types, you can:
– precisely define the terminology in use in purchase deeds in compliance with the standards in force on the international coffee market;
– check the consistency of quotations and prices, considering that they are settled upon the basis of a classification;
– check if the coffee you have purchased really corresponds to the quality description given in the purchase deed. The same applies to any purchase made under the subject to sample approval clause;
– use classification to check if the quality of the coffee you have purchased and/or been supplied with meets the requirements as given in the parameters ruling coffee imports in our country or in any other country if coffee is later re-exported.
Purchase contracts often report quite brief descriptions of coffees due to practical reasons, so the buyer is discretionally entitled to require a sample of the lot to ascertain its quality before it is shipped.
Moreover, as we all know, the European Coffee Contract entitles us to draw some samples of the lot upon its arrival at destination and to claim for quality difference, within a defined period of time, either by amicable negotiation or arbitration.
Afew other reasons to widen your knowledge of coffee classification and
cuptasting are set out here below:
– Formulate and modify blends. If you can cuptaste coffee you can evaluate new coffees, identify which blends they can be used in, or what other coffees they may replace, with a corresponding advantage in terms of quality or price compared to their common use..
– Plan the roasting programmes which better suite any type or lot of coffee, in
accordance with its organoleptic characteristics and depending on the blend into which it is to be introduced. Using the modern roasting technologies, depending on the use and taste in the cup you wish a particular coffee to have, your tasting skills will allow you to identify the most suitable roasting programme. – Optimise coffee price/quality ratio. If you get to know the different coffee
Qualities in depth, you can achieve two production objectives: good quality blends at a lower price, or higher quality blends at the same price. A further advantage is to be gained: coffees can be interchanged, thus maintaining the quality of the final product through the use of alternative coffees in blends.
Coffee has its own value on the market as a raw commodity; however it gain some added value depending on the use which you make of it: the coffee market price plus the added value which is conferred upon the final product by the taster/classifier thanks to his/her know-how play a key role in both technical and economic terms within the coffee industry and trade.
Considering the importance of classification and tasting skills, we shall first spend a few words on the methodology and the parameters used to evaluate green coffee, which must comply with a number of standard universally acknowledged and accepted methods.
Classification is fundamental in the coffee trade since it would not be possible to identify the characteristics and value of the product to be traded on the market without it. The alternative would require work on some representative samples of each consignment, however this would entail a waste of time and lengthy negotiations which is in clear contrast with the current need for operations to be completed in real time.
Hence the need to define the coffee commercial types whose description can lay the basis for negotiations. Various classifications already exist in the trade, each of which considers some peculiar elements characterising the product to meet specific practical needs. The characteristics which are normally taken into account in order to
Origin                               Classification by Type or Grade
Botanical species          Complementary descriptions:
Year of crop                   Colour
Processing method       Roasting
Form of the bean           Aroma (Flavour)
Size of the bean             Taste in cup

produce a correct and complete evaluation of the product are as follows:
Here follows a brief analysis of the different classifications:
This identifies the country of origin, a production area, and sometimes takes its name from the shipping port as in the case of the Santos type. As it is well known, the International Coffee Agreement provides for coffee types to be grouped together into three broad categories:
MILDS: this category includes all fine Arabica coffees which are grown in Central and South America; thus unwashed Brazilian coffees do not fall into it. Good quality washed Arabica coffees grown in Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and the Congo are also considered as part of the Milds category.
These coffees are produced exclusively by wet processing and are normally identified with the name of the producing country (Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia etc.).
Sometimes they are sub-divided following their production area, e.g. Medellin and
Armenia in Colombia, or Coatepec and Huatusco in Mexico. In some cases the producer or a particular plantation are mentioned.
Furthermore, washed coffees, particularly those from Central America, are also classified in accordance with the altitude of the production area.

ROBUSTA: Robusta coffees are mainly grown in Africa and Asia; they are generally labelled with the country of origin and occasionally the production area or the shipping port. In addition to these indications, the description also gives the grade (corresponding to the type in Indonesia), while for all african countries indicates the screen. It must also specify the processing method, washed or unwashed.

BRAZILIAN: these account for about 30 to 40% of the world production and include all the qualities which are grown in the states of Brazil (S. Paolo, Parana, Sul de Minas etc.).
Commercially though, they fall into three main categories: the Santos, the Parana and the Rio/Minas coffees, plus one more category including Robusta coffees only, which is called Conilon. However, more precise descriptions are often used in Brazil referring to the production area such as Cerrado, Triangulo, Mineiro, Sul de Minas, Mogiana etc.
The commercial description often gives the botanical species of origin, by now limited to ARABICA and ROBUSTA, since the Liberica and the Excelsa species have virtually disappeared. Arabusta coffees, a new botanical species, have not reached such volumes yet as to be considered a separate species.
Normally, this is given as straddling two years such as 2006/2007, since the ICO official coffee year begins on 1st October every year and ends on 30th September the following year; crops in Brazil (which is the largest producer worldwide), however, statistically start on 1st July and ends on 30th June of the following year. The year of crop is fairly important, especially in the period running between two crops. It plays a role since old and new coffees have different commercial values. Other indications relating to harvests are as follows:

CURRENT CROP            Current harvest
PAST CROP                     Past harvest
NEW CROP                      New harvest
OLD CROP                       Old harvest

The processing method used is often referred to. Thus the definition washed applies to coffees which are prepared by wet processing, and unwashed to those prepared using dry processes. Other types of processing are also in use, such as peeled, hand-picked, machine cleaned, plus the recently introduced Brazilian cherry pulped system which is called descascado em cereja.
Flat bean – sometimes long bean especially in the Tipica variety.
Bourbon – flat-beaned Arabica, slightly rounded at its ends.
Peaberry – small, roundish bean, present both in Arabica and Robusta coffees.
Once this coffee was called perla (pearl) in Italy, where it is now commonly known as caracolito, while it is called Moka in Brazil.
Maragogype – flat giant bean with central irregular cut.
Robusta – a bean showing convex front face and rounded ends. The Indian variety has beans with pointed ends. Indonesian and Vietnamese Robusta coffees often have an irregular central cut which is more open than other Robustas.

To be continued

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