Do we Need to Sort Out Coffee Bean Defects ?

The girl in the picture is sorting out the following:

  1. dried coffee cherry
  2. black bean, sour bean
  3. stinker bean
  4. insect- damaged bean
  5. broken bean
  6. floater bean
  7. shells and stick and stones

The job looks not hard but it takes a long time removing those defects. This sorting process is done by placing bunch of beans on table. The sorter starts by looking at it one by one and removing any defects that will be caught by her eyes.

manual coffee sorting

Defects in green coffee could make the beverage taste bitter and disagreeable. In a worse case scenario, defects could render a cup undrinkable.

According to study of Fe N. Dimero, Marvin V. Vicedo, Christina B. Hernan and Jeanette A. Saenz, sorting of coffee beans:

  • Can significantly improve the green bean quality as well as the cup quality of green coffee.
  • Complete removal of all types of defects increased the cup quality of coffee from “good” to “very good.”

For home consumption, sorting may not be done because the end cup quality may still be acceptable. For commercial purposes, sorting is a must because there is a need to improve taste quality. Adequately sorted coffee can compete better commercially.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

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