Our lab is a certified SCA Premier Training Campus – this means we have regular inspections and must keep to certain standards including appropriate lighting, water quality, ventilation, adequate equipment and an odour free quiet environment. So you can be sure the coffee is being tested in a professional and controlled manner.
Our quality process starts when we receive a sample of the green coffee we intend to buy direct from origin, and that they are intending to ship to us. The process has 5 stages:
Moisture: The moisture level is checked using a Sinar metre to ensure it falls within set limits.
Size: Screens are used to measure the size of the beans to make sure they are the agreed size. There is always an agreed tolerance which changes depending on the country, grade of coffee or what is specified in that contract.
Appearance: A weighed sample is tipped onto a black mat and each bean is systematically checked for defects, colour, insect holes, maturity, damage plus any extraneous matter. The defects are tallied and checked against the contracted allowance. The overall colour and texture of the sample is noted.
Roasting: The beans are not over or under-roasted, which helps imperfections show themselves when cupping. The roasting is timed which helps note vagrancies in the beans and the consistency of the roast is reported.
Cupping: Depending on the quality and origin, coffee beans are weighed into a minimum of three bowls and a maximum of ten bowls. This ensures one bad bean will remain in one bowl, rather than being dispersed over all bowls. The water and brewing temperature is controlled, and the time between brewing and cupping the coffee is timed to ensure consistency.
Colour checking a washed Arabica.
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