What are coffee defects?

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.


Cal’s Coffee Origin And The British Connection

Cousin of Farmholder Fernanda, Helena Maciel married Keith Brough, from Penrith in the north of England, in 1990. They later had a son Calum Maciel Brough who came to study in his father’s homeland in 2013.

He instantly fell in love with England. However, something was missing. The excellence of a single origin coffee from Brazil. To overcome that absence, in September 2015, Calum along with friend and business partner Adrian Todd, from Orton, opened a company to represent the best of Brazil. The coffee of Terra Preta Farm.

The best of Brazilian green beans.

The concept of Cal’s Coffee was to bring lovers of speciality coffee a unique opportunity to make a connection between producer, roaster and customer.

The exclusive 30kg green bean packaging used by the Bom Jesus, Sao Lucas, Agua Santa and Terra Preta Farm is different to the traditional jute bags insofar as they don’t leave residues on the coffee and as such are more hygienic as well as facilitating handling. This way British roasteries are able to experiment the very best of Brazilian coffee.


Journey Of Our Coffee!

Our coffee at Terra Preta is grown, roasted and sold by the Maciel family who have been cultivating coffee in Brazil since the 19th century on a small independent estate. In 2015 Calum Maciel Brough brought coffee to UK buyers directly from his aunt’s farm for the first time.

At Terra Preta the beans are planted in December (which is summer down in Brazil). By January the plants begin to flower, which turn to green berries by March. After this the berries develop their colours which can be red or yellow, depending on the variety of the bean.

The beans are picked in May/June and are washed to remove dirt unlike others who wash to remove the shells which affects the fermentation of the beans, a vital part of making speciality coffee. Then they are left in the sun for 15-30 days depending on the weather and until they reach a humidity level of 11%. At this point, they are put in big silos for 20-40 days where they undergo controlled fermentation. This part of the journey is very important as it plays a great role in the individual characteristics and flavours of the harvest. Each producer of coffee uses his/her own unique recipe.

The coffee is brought to the UK by Calum, the nephew of Fernanda the farm owner. Calum returned to his father’s homeland to complete his education and saw there was a growing demand for speciality coffee from independent farmers. The coffee from his aunt’s farm would meet that demand. Since first bringing the coffee in 2015 the popularity of Terra Preta has grown among roasters and drinkers alike. We are looking for more roasters to collaborate with us to bring the taste, aroma and personality of our beloved Terra Preta to coffee lovers in the UK.