We just got back from vacation which included a visit to Door County Coffee in Wisconsin. Beth from Door County Coffee gave us a tour and explained that their coffee is so good because they use first class beans. This was the first time we've heard of bean classification.
There are 5 classes. Most grocery store brands use 3 or lower. They don't list/advertise on their packaging which class they use, hence, the consumer is in the dark that there even IS a classification rating. Door County always uses first class beans. (Java Dragon does offer Door County Coffee as an option in our coffee systems upon request)
On a similar note, I just found this on the coffee history page of Wikipedia:
"A recent change to the coffee market are lattes, Frappuccinos and other sugary coffee drinks. With the rise of lattes and Frappuccinos becoming more popular this has caused coffee houses to be able to use cheaper coffee beans in their coffee, which has hurt the Latin American countries' economy. The cheaper coffee beans are called Robusta and they contain more caffeine than the more expensive beans. The cheaper beans' higher caffeine content is also a factor in their popularity. These cheaper beans hurt the Latin American economy because the producers receive less money for the production of the cheaper beans than they do for the production of the higher quality beans. Since the producers get paid less, they are receiving a smaller income, which in turn hurts the economy of Latin America."
Grading Coffee Beans
Grade 1: Specialty Grade Coffee Beans: no primary defects, 0-3 full defects, sorted with a maximum of 5% above and 5% below specified screen size or range of screen size, and exhibiting a distinct attribute in one or more of the following areas: taste, acidity, body, or aroma. Also must be free of cup faults and taints. Zero quakers allowed. Moisture content between 9-13%.
Grade 2: Premium Grade Coffee Beans: Same as Grade 1 except maximum of 3 quakers. 0-8 full defects.
Grade 3: Exchange Grade Coffee Beans: 50% above screen 15 and less than 5% below screen 15. Max of 5 quakers. Must be free from faults. 9-23 full defects.
Grade 4: Standard Grade Coffee Beans: 24-86 full defects.
Grade 5: Off Grade Coffee Beans: More than 86 full defects.
Source: Green Coffee Classification System Poster from the Specialty Coffee Association of America.
Java Dragon is a small start up company hatched after I was laid off from my tech job in early 2017. I love coffee and so my wife and I decided to get into the coffee business to bring barista quality coffee to offices in Chicago.