The Ultimate Coffee Glossary

Green Coffee Appearance

What is Green Coffee Appearance?

Green Coffee Appearance refers to the physical characteristics of unroasted coffee beans. It is determined by the number of defects per 300-gram sample and the screen size of the beans. Appearance is an informal scoring that can communicate the quality of coffee preparation and sorting but does not directly indicate the coffee's cup quality. The Specialty Coffee Association of America's Green Coffee Classification System often scores appearance. The number of defects per 300-gram sample is written as 2d/300g, with 2d indicating two defects. However, a zero defect score does not guarantee that the coffee will have no defective beans. The screen size is expressed as a fraction, such as 14/16 scr or 18 scr, and reflects the size of the beans. It is important to note that larger beans do not always equate to higher quality. Some small beans of varied screen size can produce excellent coffee, such as Yemeni coffee. Overall, Green Coffee Appearance is an important aspect of coffee grading, but it is just one of many factors that contribute to the coffee's overall quality.

Why does green coffee appearance get graded on a 300-gram sample?

Green coffee appearance gets graded on a 300-gram sample because it provides a representative portion of the coffee lot and allows for consistent and accurate evaluation of the coffee's preparation and sorting quality. A 300-gram sample is large enough to reduce the impact of small variations within the lot, while small enough to be handled easily during the grading process. This sample size is also commonly used in the Specialty Coffee Association of America's Green Coffee Classification System and is widely accepted in the coffee industry. By evaluating a sample of this size, graders can identify any defects in the coffee and assess the bean size and shape, which can impact the overall quality of the cup. The grading process involves visually inspecting the coffee beans and assigning a score based on the number of defects found per 300-gram sample. The appearance score can be an indication of the care taken in the processing and sorting of the coffee, but it is important to note that it does not directly correlate with the cup quality of the coffee. Cup quality is evaluated through cupping, which involves the sensory evaluation of brewed coffee.
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