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    There is nothing perfect, and green coffee beans are no exception. Despite optimizing the quality of farming, harvesting, and improving production equipment, it is inevitable that defect beans - flawed beans will appear in bags of green coffee. These defects will directly reduce the quality of the finished coffee you hold in your hand. In addition to unpleasant bitter tastes, sometimes unpleasant smells can also appear. Common defects in green coffee beans. Source: Caffe Nero Therefore, for Specialty Coffee producers, there is always a stage of inspection and sorting out defects before sending the product to customers. This stage can be done by machine or by hand. In today's article, Ro will share with you all the details about these defects and how they negatively affect our coffee. What is coffee defects? Coffee defects are a type of coffee that exhibits unnatural characteristics and poor quality due to errors that occurred during cultivation, harvesting, processing, or roasting stages. When referring to the term "Defect" the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) also includes unwanted foreign objects that may appear in coffee, such as rocks, branchs, and insects. These defects can significantly impact the quality and taste of the final coffee product. SCA has published a set of documents on these coffee defects to unify and systematize the standards for screening and evaluating the quality of Specialty Coffee. Currently, SCA has only released publications dedicated to Arabica coffee beans, without official guidelines applying to Robusta or Liberica. However, currently, producers or roasters implicitly understand and use the same standards for all coffee beans they produce. Source: SCA Common coffee defects Mold: Coffee beans exposed to excessive moisture during the drying, roasting, or storage process can create conditions for mold growth, leading to unpleasant tastes such as moldy and musty flavors in coffee. These types of molds can develop and spread to other beans. Insect-damaged: are coffee beans that have bite or boreholes from insect infestation. If there are many of these beans in your coffee batch, they will leave a sour or bitter taste, pungent and unpleasant flavor. Full Black/Full Sour: These defects occur when coffee cherries are picked either unripe or overripe. These beans are the result of over-fermentation inside the fruit before harvesting and processing, resulting in a strong alcoholic fermentation flavor and a heavy, sour vinegar taste in the coffee. Broken/chipped/cut: is a defect that occurs during processing, specifically during the hulling process. This leads to the cut area being more susceptible to oxidation, which can result in a decrease in quality. In addition, having too many beans with this defect can cause an uneven roast, as the broken beans are more likely to become charred. Quakers: These are the immature, unevenly ripe, or undernourished seeds of coffee fruits during their development. During roasting, these seeds will not have enough chemical compounds to participate in the mailard process, resulting in a lighter color compared to other beans in the same batch, and your coffee will lack sweetness and flavors if it contains many quakers. Shell: This is the outer part of an extraneous object in the shape of an elephant ear or seashell. This is the result of a mutation in the coffee bean. This type of bean does not actually have a direct impact on the flavor, however, it has a thin and flat structure, leading it to be the first beans to burn when roasting coffee. Stones, dried pods and branchs: These are foreign objects that may appear in your coffee if the previous processing steps did not meet the standards. Stones can be the cause of damage to machinery during the coffee roasting and grinding process; broken coffee husks can easily ignite and cause smoke and burnt smell in the roasting chamber; and finally, twigs and branches can bring unpleasant taste or sensation to your coffee cup. The meaning of coffee defects to the production process Basically, the appearance of coffee defects indicate that the cultivation or processing process has some flaws and is not optimal. Based on the characteristics of each type of defects, the producer will have different methods to overcome them. To farmers and producers To obtain good quality green bean products that meet high coffee quality standards and minimize defects, both farmers and producers always seek ways to overcome and improve. Equipping and updating professional knowledge as well as building a model with a process that fully meets quality control criteria will require significant investment costs. It takes a lot of love, knowledge and expense to make a good cup of coffee. Source: Vietnam Investment Review For farmers, it is the cost of soil improvement, fertilization, planned cultivation, or for producers, it is investment in facilities, labor, etc. Therefore, high-quality coffee products on the market will have a higher price than the average. To roasters According to many subjective opinions, roasters are very limited in working with producers who have too many defective coffee beans in their coffee lots. After receiving green coffee beans from suppliers, roastery workers always manually sort their coffee to pick out coffee defects, which can occur before or after roasting. The more coffee defects there are, the longer the roaster spends on sorting. Therefore, they will prioritize working with reputable producers and suppliers who provide better quality coffee. At the same time, well-processed coffee will ensure the quality of the coffee during long-term preservation. Reference:

  • A Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Your Own Coffee Plants

    Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, and it's no surprise that many people are interested in growing their own coffee plants. If you're thinking about planting coffee seedlings, there are a few key steps you'll need to follow to ensure that your plants grow healthy and strong. In this article, we'll walk you through the process of planting coffee seedlings, from preparing the soil to caring for your plants over time. Step 1: Prepare the Soil Before you start planting your coffee seedlings, it's important to prepare the soil properly. Begin by clearing the planting area of weeds, rocks, and other debris. Make sure the soil is moist but not waterlogged, as coffee plants require well-draining soil. If the soil in your planting area is of poor quality, you can improve it by adding organic matter such as compost or manure to improve soil fertility. This will help ensure that your coffee plants have the nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy. Step 2: Digging the Holes Next, dig holes that are twice the size of the root ball of your coffee seedlings. The holes should be spaced 6-10 feet apart, depending on the variety of coffee and the growth habit. Make sure the holes are deep enough to accommodate the entire root ball of the seedling. Step 3: Planting the Seedlings Once you've prepared the soil and dug the holes, it's time to plant your coffee seedlings. Begin by removing the seedlings from their containers and gently loosening the roots. Place the seedling in the hole and backfill with soil, tamping it down firmly around the base of the plant. The top of the root ball should be level with the soil surface. Step 4: Watering Water the newly planted seedlings immediately after planting, and then regularly thereafter. Be sure to water deeply to encourage deep root growth. Overwatering can be harmful to coffee plants, so make sure you don't water them too much. Step 5: Mulching After you've watered your coffee plants, apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of each plant. This will help retain soil moisture, regulate soil temperature, and suppress weed growth. It will also help keep your plants healthy and strong over time. Step 6: Care and Maintenance Finally, remember that coffee plants require regular care and maintenance. Prune your coffee trees as needed to maintain their shape and remove any damaged or diseased branches. Fertilize the trees with a balanced fertilizer according to the manufacturer's instructions, and keep the planting area weed-free and well-maintained. Regular pest control is also important to prevent infestations from insects and other pests. Source: By following these simple steps, you can plant coffee seedlings successfully and enjoy the fruits of your labor over time. Remember to be patient and take good care of your plants, and you'll be rewarded with a bountiful harvest of delicious coffee beans in the years to come.


    "Coffee Cupping" or "Coffee Tasting," is the process of evaluating the quality of coffee. This is a professional and important activity carried out by tasting experts, but anyone with basic knowledge of tasting techniques and a passion for exploring coffee flavors can participate. To ensure objectivity and consistency in the evaluation results, the tasting process must adhere to a standardized system with many factors, from tools, preparation, evaluation practices, scoring, and many other factors. Since the sensory evaluation process depends on each individual, properly tasting coffee is not an easy task. In today's article, iO Coffee will share some of the most basic information about coffee tasting to help people understand more about this important activity. The meaning of the tasting process Coffee cupping. Source: It is believed that "Coffee Cupping" originated in the late 19th century, when traders tasted various types of coffee to decide which ones they wanted to buy and to check for consistency. In 1999, this method was used in the Cup of Excellence competition, leading the Specialty Coffee Association of America (now the Specialty Coffee Association, SCA) to develop specific guidelines that were widely accepted by the industry. It can be said that Cupping, or the tasting process, is a representative language that opens up invaluable opportunities for communication throughout the coffee supply chain. The tasting process is not developed randomly but serves many practical purposes. Among them, it can be mentioned as: evaluating the quality of green beans to support quality control and the selection of suitable green beans, discovering and evaluating products after roasting, creating a environment for exchange, learning and training, and introducing and promoting new products to the community. Therefore, equipping oneself with tasting skills is essential as it is a prerequisite for all activities in the supply chain. Whether you are a barista and want to adjust your coffee, a roaster and want to improve your roasting profile, or a buyer and want to check the quality of green beans inputs, all require sensory evaluation of taste and rely on the tasting process. Farmers and coffee producers It all starts with those who grow and process coffee cherries into green coffee beans. Some coffee producers taste their own coffee to identify issues related to farm or processing quality. For example, if the planting and harvesting methods are not optimized, or if there are inconsistencies in the processing stages, the resulting coffee quality may not meet expectations. From the tasting results, they will use it as evidence to improve their current methods, thereby enhancing the quality of the coffee produced in each subsequent harvest season. The cupping process also allows these coffee producers to evaluate the quality of each coffee harvest. This is also where coffee growers can decide to submit their best coffee to participate in national competitions, such as the Cup of Excellence program, a competition that seeks out the best coffee of the country each year. The outstanding coffees that score well in these competitions are often purchased at a high price. Green coffee buyers The role of the buyer is to determine which types of coffee to purchase for serving in cafes or roasting facilities. All of this will depend on the intended use and the needs of the business. Here, cupping is used to determine the characteristics of each coffee harvest and understand the potential of each type of coffee. Green coffee buyers also often cup samples of coffee multiple times to ensure that the quality of the coffee is consistent or does not significantly decrease due to factors such as processing, storage, transportation, and time. Coffee roasters After the green coffee beans have undergone quality control by the green coffee buyer, they will be delivered to the roasting factory. Before officially roasting them for mass production, the roaster usually roasts a sample of coffee and taste tests it to understand its potential. Then, they adjust to exploit the desired characteristics. This process is repeated until the roaster is satisfied with their formula before proceeding to mass production. Tasting after roasting is also essential - quality control. The roaster does this to ensure that the batches of roasted coffee meet the standard, meet all the desired characteristics previously set, and are ready to be sent to customers. Baristas As you know, coffee beans before being served usually have to go through strict quality control checks to ensure quality. However, before serving, a barista also needs to know how to properly extract each type of coffee. Therefore, tasting coffee will help them have a deeper understanding of what this coffee can bring. From there, the barista can determine a suitable method to bring out the best flavors. At the same time, tasting coffee also helps the barista to identify the flavor profile of that coffee, from which they can convey and share with customers in more detail. The process of a cupping session At a cupping session, there are usually different samples of coffee. They may come from the same origin but differ in region and processing method, represent different types and processing methods, and may come from different countries. The process of a tasting session will proceed as follows: Step 1: Prepare coffee samples in appropriate ratios. There is no limit to the number of samples. Step 2: Clean the grinder, then grind the samples. Step 3: Smell the dry aroma and evaluate (lasts no more than 15 minutes). Step 4: Pour water, smell the wet aroma, and evaluate (lasts from 3-5 minutes). Step 5: Break the layer of coffee powder on the surface. This is a good time to re-evaluate the wet aroma before moving on to the tasting phase. Step 6: Scoop out the foam or remaining coffee powder on the surface of the cupping bowl. Step 7: Taste and evaluate with a scoring sheet (lasts about 30 minutes). Arabica Cupping Form. Source: Specialty Coffee Association Note: You should prioritize observing and evaluating the following factors for each temperature stage: Hot Stage (70°C): Flavor and Aftertaste Warm Stage (60°C): Acidity + Body + Balance Cool Stage (40°C): Uniformity + Cleanliness + Sweetness Learn more about coffee tasting terms here: English / Tiếng Việt Improve your tasting ability Coffee Taster's Flavor Wheel. Source: Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) From the Coffee Taster's Flavor Wheel, you should start by learning to perceive broad and inclusive flavor groups such as Fruity, Floral, Sweet, and then move on to more detailed groups. The best way to improve is to continue practicing tasting. Over time, your taste sensitivity will gradually increase. You can start by actively slowing down your eating and drinking, and analyzing the flavors of the foods you consume on a daily basis. This will help you develop reflexes for yourself along with a rich flavor system. In addition, take advantage of opportunities to practice with colleagues and friends. Discussing techniques and sharing opinions with others can help you improve your skills and expand your tasting vocabulary. Reference:

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