Quality Control in Forest Coffee is one of the most important steps before you receive your precious beans, that is why we decided to explain you very detailed how we do our Quality Control.
We usually receive 3 different kinds of samples, the first one is when our partner pick the beans at the beginning of the harvest, process them and send us a sample that is usually in parchment or in dry cherry (if natural).
Soon after we receive the 350 gr - 500gr sample, we remove the parchment or dry cherry, and start grading the green beans. First, we pass the coffee through a set of sieves to determine the bean size, depending on the variety, we separate the beans below the sieve number 14 (14/64 inch). Then we remove all 1st and 2nd category defects. After we have the cleaned green beans, we weight them in order to get the performance factor (how much coffee in parchment is necessary to fill a 70kg bag with green coffee), measure the Density, water activity and the moisture content of the beans.
Performance factor: (initial weight in parchment) x 70 / (final green coffee weight)
After the green coffee grading, we start sample roasting the coffee; of course, each kind of coffee is roasted differently according its process and physical characteristics, but that’s a theme for another post. We roast two 45 gr samples of the same coffee with the same profile in an IKAWA sample roaster and let them “breathe” for 8-24 hours.
Now cupping is the final test of each of the samples, we use SCA cupping protocols, you can check them out here https://sca.coffee/research/protocols-best-practices.
Finally, we have a cupping score and a sensory profile, we are now ready to make purchasing decisions (in case of partners) and we can make conclusions of our post-harvest processes.
The second sample we receive is the “arrive” sample, which is the one we receive once the full lot arrives to the milling station. We process this sample exactly the same as the first sample, and the purpose of this sample, is to make sure that we got the same coffee as the first sample.
The final sample, is the one we get after the milling process, the quality control is the same, the only difference is that we receive this coffee already milled- in other words the green coffee (without parchment) and without defects. After cupping the third sample, we cup the 3 samples together to be 100% sure that we end up with the coffee we expect.
And finally, the samples are ready to be shipped to be enjoyed by you.
WRITTEN BY: Santiago Carvajal.