New coffee has arrived. It’s always a good day when you receive thousands of pounds of new and current crop coffees. A truck backs in to the docks and flings its doors open while the smell of fresh green coffee pours out to stimulate the olfactory senses. It’s not every day we receive a full truck like this so when we do it’s a process of checking it all in and getting it unloaded.
Every roaster has different methods they use to receive beans but we like to follow a strict procedure that ensures we got what we ordered and it’s in great shape. Each origin has a lot# which is used to track back to the farm/mill in which it came from. A sample lot # may be 015-1730-01. The first set of numbers verifies the ICO country code, Sumatra in this case. The second number is for the exporter that bags the green beans. The last are lot numbers which represent the container number for this harvest. These lot numbers are sequential and will start over with the new harvest.
So each Origin must be compared to the corresponding lot number we ordered to make sure we have a match. Once the lot numbers and quantity match we use a sampling Trier (shown to the left) to take a small sample. This sample, usually a ½ lb, is roasted and cupped to ensure the cup quality meets our agreed upon standards. From time to time we also will check the moisture content of the bean using a moisture meter (fancy toy). Acceptable moisture levels are below 12%, because anything more and you risk cup quality due to bacteria or mold growth.
If the origin meets standards and passes the tests it’s moved into our storage area. Ideal storage for green beans is going to be a cool and dry environment perfect for awaiting their destiny in my roaster.
So when we say that we source the top 2% of Arabica beans from around the world you know were pretty serious about quality.