What are coffee defects? (And why the affect your cup of coffee!)

There are about 18 different categories of coffee defects; but  when I was working at Bom Jesus farm I catalogued about 11 of the most important:

1st. Parchment it is when the coffee bean is involved in a layer of outer skin just like in a parchment, the dry mill should have cleaned the bean, but a bean wasn’t processed correctly.

2nd. Sour bean a healthy bean has been fermented either on the tree or on the drying stage without intention. The sour bean taste like medicine. It should be removed by colour scanning machinery.

3rd. Black bean this bean was genetically badly formed. Unpleasant taste. It should be sieved by the colour scanning machinery.

4th. Pink bean the pink bean in Brazil is one of the less common defects. But yet is a badly fermented bean and its density makes it easier to be removed by machinery.

One of the farmers at Sao Lucas making sure to keep defects to a minimum.

5th. Pod, or Cherry this is a dry mill process failure for a pod to arrive in a coffee sack in the UK from Brazil it means the 5 machines that should have sorted out the bean failed in their tasks.

6th. Small husks, stones, residuals, in a 30 kg of the best speciality coffee cupping SCA score 85 is still accept some residuals, still very unlikely. As most dry mills stages target the removal of any impurity. But coffee is a natural product and variants can occur.

7th. Insect damaged beans it occurs by badly management farming practices. It should be sieved by the density machinery but disappear once is roasted but taste is unpleasant.

8th. Fungus damaged bean coffee bean that suffered from rainfall during the drying stage. It taste like rubber. It should be removed by colour scanning machinery.

9th. Unripe bean is a bean that been too early harvested and never got to the right maturation level. Size, density and colour sorting machinery are responsible to sieve them out. After roasted looks like a quacker but taste much worse. The palest bean

10th. Floater beans most common defect in natural coffee beans. It is the beans that density and genetics simply is variant than standards. After roasted turns into lighter brown colour than most. Its characteristics it floats in water even if at the right maturity level. It is difficult to remove through machinery; most are removed in the density selection stage.

11th.  Shell, or broken beans very common defects the shell are big beans that in the roastery after the first crack are likely to split. It does not affect much the flavour and is a varietal genetics problem. Sorting should remove most of these defects.

I have made a PDF which  details defects you can find in most coffees. Downlaod HERE.

As always, if you want to order great coffee with no defects please get in touch for our wholesale prices by filling in our contact form.