National Systems for Sorting and Grading Coffee

National Systems for Sorting and Grading Coffee

National Systems for Grading

Countries that have unique ways of designating different qualities of coffee include Brazil, which classifies each bag by the species of coffee, the port from which the coffee is exported (Santos, Parana, etc), and then by a defective bean qualification, for example: NY (meaning "we are counting the defective beans the way the Americans understand it") and Standard 3 (which means an average sample of 300 grams would have 12 defective beans). The defects also include points for stones and twigs. Brazil's grading also includes bean size, color, density, shape, roast potential, cup quality, processing method, crop year and lot number.

Modest Ethiopia, with some truly aristocratic world-class coffees, is content to denote simply the processing, the name of the region of production, and a grade number between 1 and 8, each of which indicates a certain number of defects. Colombia's grading is even simpler: each bag has the name of the region, and sorts by size, e.g. Excelso beans are smaller versions of the Supremo.

Indonesia has recently changed from its old Dutch system of grading. Now, R=Robusta, A=Arabica, WP=wet processed, DP=dry processed; six quality grade numbers, with 1 & 2 High, 3 & 4 Medium, 5 & 6 Lower grades; AP after the grade number means After Polished, and L, M and S stand for bean sizes large, medium and small. For example, R/DP Grade 2L would be a dry processed large-bean robusta of very high quality; A/WP Grade 3/AP would denote a medium-quality polished washed arabica.


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