The Ultimate Coffee Glossary

New Crop

In coffee, what does the term new crop mean?

The term "New Crop" refers to the latest harvest or the most recent shipment of green coffee beans. These are coffee beans that have been recently harvested and processed, and are shipped within the first month or two of the earliest arrivals. New crop coffee is highly sought after by coffee roasters and importers because it represents the most current and fresh coffee available.
It's important to note that "New Crop" is not the same as "Current Crop". Current crop refers to any coffee that has not been replaced by new crop shipments, even if it was shipped from origin many months before. New crop, on the other hand, is specifically the most recent harvest that has been shipped. Coffee is a dried seed that can maintain its usefulness for some time, but it does not last forever. After a certain point, coffee loses its freshness and flavour, making it less desirable to coffee professionals.
Roasters and importers who are looking to source the best quality coffee will often prioritise new crop coffee because it tends to have the most vibrant and complex flavours. This is because the coffee beans are still fresh and have not undergone too much aging or exposure to the elements. It's important to note, however, that new crop coffee is not always guaranteed to be the best quality coffee available. There are many factors that can influence the quality of coffee, including the specific growing conditions, processing methods, and storage practices.

What else is worth knowing about a New Crop?

  1. Availability: New crop coffee is typically only available for a limited time each year, depending on the specific coffee growing region and harvest cycle. Coffee-producing regions in Central and South America, for example, typically harvest their coffee from October to March, while African coffee-producing regions may harvest from May to August. This means that the availability of new crop coffee can vary depending on the region and timing of the harvest.
  1. Pricing: New crop coffee is often priced higher than current crop coffee, as it is considered to be a premium product. The demand for new crop coffee from coffee roasters and importers can be high, which can drive up the price.
  1. Variability: While new crop coffee is generally considered to be of high quality, there can be variability in flavour and quality within a single harvest. This can be due to differences in growing conditions, processing methods, or other factors that can influence the final product.
  1. Importance of cupping: Because of the variability in flavour and quality within a single harvest, cupping is an important tool for coffee professionals to evaluate and select the best new crop coffees. Cupping involves evaluating the aroma, flavor, and other sensory characteristics of a coffee sample, and can help roasters and importers identify the best new crop coffees for their needs.
Overall, new crop coffee is an important part of the coffee industry, representing the freshest and most current coffee available. While it may be priced higher and have some variability in quality, it remains a highly sought after product by coffee professionals around the world.
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