Summary of Processing Factors Affecting Arabica Coffee Quality

SUMMARY OF PROCESSING FACTORS AFFECTING COFFEE QUALITY

The following table present a summary of processing factors and their potential problems, which can influence Arabica quality in the washed / semi-washed processes.

Process step Factors reducing quality Potential problem
Harvesting cherry Harvest green cherry Green or grassy flavour
Harvest over-ripe cherry Fermented or fruity flavour
Pick fallen old cherry from the ground Fermented or fruity flavours. Mould contamination producing mouldy or musty flavours
Hold fresh cherry for long periods before pulping Fermented or fruity flavours
Pulping cherry Poor quality pulping equipment or poorly adjusted equipment Nipped beans causing stinker beans
Fermentation Over-fermentation Fermented, fruity, sour or onion flavour
Poor hygiene in fermentation tanks leaving a small number of extremely over fermented beans Stinker beans producing foul rotted or sour flavours
Washing Poor washing leaving mucilage on parchment Mould growth producing mouldy or musty flavours
Hulling dry parchment Incorrect huller setting Bean damage
Coffee too dry Bean damage
Storing hulled green bean Storing too wet Mould growth producing and mouldy or musty flavours
Stored near fuels or chemicals Contaminate with foul odours
Stored in jute bags made on machinery lubricated by petroleum oils Contaminated with baggy or oily taints
Stored in hot humid condition for long periods Mould growth producing mouldy or musty flavours. Surface oxidation of beans causing woody flavoursFaded bean colour
Transport Rewetting of coffee due to leaky tarpaulins or containers Mould growth producing mouldy or musty flavours

Source: Arabica coffee manual – Edward Winston, Jacques Op de Laak, Tony Marsh, Herbert Lempke and Keith Chapman


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