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What's all this talk about specialty grade?

Say "no" to defects

We frequently mention that TRIBO Coffees are "specialty grade."  We thought it would be prudent to elaborate on what exactly that means.  There are several key steps along the value chain that allow coffees to achieve this high quality status including, but not limited to farm-level processing, cupping scores & the absence of defects, to name a few.  


In the coming articles we intend to use the coffee value chain to continue exploring what it means to be considered specialty grade.  In this segment, we're going to jump into the middle of the chain and briefly explain the impact that defects have on the coffee you drink. 


The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) created clear standards relating to coffee defects and grading.  SCA refers to defects as either primary (category 1) or secondary (category 2).  In a nutshell, specialty grade coffees cannot have more than five defects per 350g of coffee.  Some common coffee defects can be seen here: 

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Not so sexy, but important

Defective coffee beans are as sexy a topic as sweeping a dirty garage floor, yet they have a substantial impact on the cup you ultimately drink.  Too many defective beans in a batch will cause bitterness.  Too many defective beans cause roasters to roast darker in order to mask the unpleasant flavors.  Too many defective beans separates specialty grade coffees from commercial (and largely using commercial grade coffees leads sellers to rely more heavily on milk, sugar and other additives).  

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Remove those crummy defects

Coffee is a natural, organic product, so defects can naturally occur no matter how pristine the growing environment may be.  As we have seen, defective beans come in many unpleasant shapes and sizes.  Specialty coffee professionals aim to remove those unsavory beans before they are roasted, ground and brewed into your cup.  At the farm level it's common to see workers searching through freshly-processed batches for bad beans prior to selling on the global market.  Similarly, attentive roasters check for bad beans prior to roasting as well.  


TRIBO delivers you a specialty coffee experience


At TRIBO Coffee we source specialty grade beans, as well as utilize a state-of-the-art optical sorter (and good 'ol fashioned elbow grease) to remove defects and ensure that we're roasting and delivering you a delicious high quality coffee experience in every cup.  All TRIBO coffees are 100% Arabica, roasted in small batches in order to provide delightful fragrance and flavor anytime, anywhere.  

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A Great Find