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Grading and Sizing


Coffee has, in many countries, been graded by size longer than it has by quality. Even though larger bean sizes are not necessarily better, the advantage of having a smaller size range, is that the roasting is easier, and the resultant roast is likely to be more uniform. This is because coffee beans of different sizes also have different densities. The
following are the common size grades.
Peaberries – The result of only one seed forming inside the coffee fruit
AB Grade – Considered good quality based on size, but of less value than AA grade
AA Grade – The largest and most valuable beans from a particular lot of coffee
Pulped Natural Process – A little fruit flesh is still stuck to the bean, giving a slight orange colour
Fully Washed – These fully washed beans appear cleaner than the other two processes
Natural/Dry Process – Typically a very orange/brown colour compared with other green coffee due to the processing
Pacamara/Maragogype – Usually large in size and often considered desirable as a result
However, Indian coffees are graded in two different ways. The first is unique to India, and classifies all washed coffees as ‘Plantation Coffees’, all naturally processed coffees as ‘Cherry’, and all washed Robusta coffees as ‘Parchment Coffees’.
India also uses a size-based grading system, from AAA (the largest), down through AA, A and also PB (peaberry).


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