Quality control is about selecting the best green beans and ensuring consistent quality. Since we are working directly with the farmers, we are able to maintain a hands-on approach.
Prior to every shipment, we always receive a sample taken from the actual lot that is going to be delivered. We check the actual specification of the coffee against the description and against a previous delivery as a control. The results are recorded with--more often than not--a positive result. Should we find the sample not to our liking, it will be rejected and an alternative is submitted for approval.
We always check the level of acceptable moisture in the beans prior to export. Not only do we have an allergy to paying for excessive water in our beans, too much moisture causes the coffee to become musty. In addition, if there is too much moisture coffee can sweat in a shipping container causing mould on the beans – a big problem.
A sample is sifted to ensure that the correct percentage of bean size is present. The naked eye cannot detect 15% screen 17 in a screen 18 sample, but the screens can. Screen 17 is cheaper than screen 18 and whilst there will always be an agreed tolerance, too much is not only expensive for the buyer but not contractually correct. At the other end of the scale, too many extra big beans can also be an issue.
Defect counting beans
A weighed sample is tipped onto the table and each bean is systematically checked for defects: colour, insect holes, maturity, damage plus any extraneous matter. The defects are tallied and checked against the contracted allowance. The overall colour and texture of the sample is noted.
The beans are not over-roasted which helps imperfections show themselves when cupping (if testing the coffee for various uses, we will roast it accordingly). The roasting is timed which helps to note variations in the beans, if they are lighter, denser, drier, etc and the consistency of the roast is reported.
Depending on the quality and origin, beans are weighed into a minimum of 3 bowls to a maximum of 10 bowls. This ensures one unwanted bean remain in one bowl, rather than being dispersed over all bowls. The groups are numbered and paired with a previous delivery as a “control sample”. The temperature of the coffee is noted prior to and after a cupping session. Once evaluated by the panel of cuppers, comments are discussed openly and the results noted.
Only if the sample passes all of the above stages of Quality Control do we give our approval to the exporter to ship. It is tough but correct and fair. If the coffee arrives in Europe different to the contracted quality, it is too late and can cause untold hardship to all concerned parties.
The coffee is cleared into our preferred warehouse where the sacks are noted for condition and any potential damages advised. Samples are drawn from the consignments and sent to our office for evaluation. From then on, they go through the complete Quality Control measures listed above again.
No coffee is delivered to a customer without having passed our Quality Control. You might not expect this level of control or know that these checks happen, but we believe they are essential. We know what we are delivering to you. We are real coffee people!
At Javanusa, we strive for perfection at all stages of the production. From the growing of coffee trees and keeping a sustainable farm, to the highest standards of harvesting and processing. By having control over all stages of the production, we are able to influence the key decisions that result in an extraordinary cup of coffee.