Quality (1)

Sunday, 17 May 2015 11:29


What is "fairtrade" coffee?

Under the overview of the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) the association provides certification for over 20 labeling initiatives in several countries including:  Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Mexico and the United States. In the US, Tranfair USA is the third party certification organization which ensures farmers in producing countries receive a 'fair' price for their product(s) and labor efforts. The certification also ensures a for a social development including:

1. Better and fair labor conditions.
2. Direct Trade with buyers
3. Community Development
4. Environmental sustainability
5. A more democratic and transparent organization

Although the movement initiated in Europe, the Fair Trade movement has gained significant awareness in the United States through various consumer conscious organizations. Conventionally grown washed arabica coffee from Central America, Africa and Asia receive a minimum of  $1.26 USD/per lb FOB; whereas certified organic coffee's from the same regions receive a minimum of $1.41 USD/lb. In the event that world coffee price rise above this floor, farmers ensured a premium of $0.05/lb above market price.

What are "black beans"?

Black beans are severe primary defects that occur as a result of the following:

1. Picking over ripe coffee during harvesting.
2. Over fermentation and/or cross contamination during processing
3. Carbohydrate deficiency during maturation.
4. Poor drying or re-wetting, especially in dry processed coffee.

Typically these beans are easily removed by screening, hand, and/or density sorting. Recently many coffee mills have been equipped with optically sorting equipment, which rapidly reject these beans during milling. Black beans are typically slow to roast and rarely fully develop past a yellowish color. Their impact on the cup is significant imparting ferment, phenol-like, and sour mouldy characteristics. Photo below shows a typical black bean, though bean damage can vary in severance.

What is "C" coffee?

"C" coffee is exchange coffee that is readily tenderable at the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT) - a futures market. C coffee is the minimum standard which is currently exchanged daily on the world market. Typically one C contract is equal to one container of green coffee or 38,500 lbs (roughly 250 sacks, depending on origin).