A defect bean is a bean with an off flavor. It ruins a perfect cup of coffee and can even pose health issues. Lucky, we have gatekeepers to keep an eye on quality: green graders.
Green graders, people in either producing or consuming countries, screen samples that were drawn from certain batches. They filter out the defects, for instance; black, immature, or broken beans.
It is through green grading that we recognize and distinguish defects, and more importantly, determine the value of coffee.
Because the number of defects, found within a sample of 300 to 350 grams, reveals the grade of the coffee. The fewer defects found within a sample, the higher the grade.
In addition to the Ethiopian defect poster, that highlights how defects are recognized and distinguished in Ethiopia, we have made an Indonesian variant. It gives an overview of how coffees are classified and how defects are identified within the Indonesian coffee market.
Although we do not use the Indonesian system to green grade incoming samples, it is good to understand that all Sumatran samples, sent to our office, are green graded according to this system.
There are a few differences between the Ethiopian and Indonesian system. Within Indonesia, for instance, a grade 1 allows for eleven defect points, whereas the Ethiopian grading system only permits five.
Also, there are no distinctions between primary and secondary defects as opposed to the Ethiopian system. Lastly, instead of the 16 defects, the Indonesian system identifies 20.