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Odd beans - Australian Arabica Grade A+

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  • Odd beans - Australian Arabica Grade A+

    Hi all,

    I've been home roasting for about a decade, and most of my greens I buy right here on bean bay. However I've also been tinkering with roasting some Australian green beans sourced from the producer. This particular lot were Australian Arabica "Grade A+ Size 18" grown in Qld.

    This lot of beans were pretty odd shaped and sized, and when roasted they kind of detached from their outer husk. Never really got a rolling first crack, and there was a lot of chaff. I've attached some pics.

    Two questions for any bean experts who might be reading ...

    - Can beans this misshapen really qualify as A+ grade? (not sure how A+ relates to the 1-5 grading system)
    - What's going on with the de-hulling during roast?

    I only bought 2kg so I'm not hugely out of pocket ... just curious really.

    Attached Files

  • #2
    Maybe they taste great in the cup?



    • #3
      Coffee grading is an interesting discussion.
      Different countries have very different ideas on grading and sometimes they even change within a region.

      The A+ 18 you were quoted here means these are the beans that didn't fit through a 18/64 inch screen (7.15mm).

      Coffee screens are large sheets full of holes that are different fractions of 64ths of an inch and "standard" sizes are 14,15,16,17,18 but some people will also use 12 and 20.

      As you found, the A+ only means "all the stuff bigger than an 18 screen" and has nothing to do with the sorting or removal of things you didn't want in there.

      Coffee is picked, hulled, dried and sold.
      Some growers will pick, hull, dry and then shake through a series of different screen sizes to yield different "grades" (sizes).

      Coffee grown in western countries with western wages is very often UGLY or expensive or both and small farmers tend not to invest in colour sorting machines and cannot afford to pay people to hand sort.

      The take-away from this is that A+ has nothing to do with quality in the cup, processing methods or the amount of rubbish you might find, it is only a size.


      • #4
        Thanks Andy. Would never have figured out that the A+ related to the screening. Agreed that they are some ugly beans!

        After roasting I ended up blending it with some of my beanbay beans (Costa Rica SHB) and just waiting a few days now before trying the blend.

        Mal, I regret not saving a few handfuls to try as a SO. But there is still an opportunity on the next roast - I have 1.5kg of the world's ugliest beans left. But I'm sure their mum loves them anyway