Coffee Grading Scale
How are coffee beans graded ?
Coffee beans are examined and graded based upon criteria which are the same in each exporting country, based upon altitude, region, preparation method, shape, colour and taste. The five grades of coffee exist to filter out imperfections like large stones, unripe beans or shells.
Here at rijo42, we only sell organic Grade 1 coffee beans.
What are defective beans ?
Defective beans might look like the odd one out in a batch. If the colour differs (darker or lighter than the majority) or is blotchy, the bean would be counted as defective. Defective beans can be linked back to specific events in the growing process, for example, those affected by drought have ragged shapes and a paler colour.
Grade 1 Coffee Beans
The grade 1 classification is specifically given to speciality beans with no defects or damage. These beans should reach a standard of quality for acidity, aroma, and taste, and should have a 9-13% moisture content in order to make the finest coffee.
Grade 2 Coffee Beans
Grade 2 beans are still considered premium, although they cannot have more than six full defective qualities.
Grade 3 Coffee Beans
These are exchange standard coffee beans that should be 50% above screening level, free from all major faults and have no more than 13 defective items. You probably won’t find coffee beans in the UK below grade 3.
Grade 4 Coffee Beans
Grade 4 beans are rated as standard coffee beans and they could have anywhere between 24 to 84 defects.
Grade 5 Coffee Beans
Grade 5 coffee beans are extremely rare in UK markets, as the quality is lacking. Beans will have more than 86 full defects per batch.