Grading and Quality control
Quality control of coffee is of critical importance from bean to cup. In reference to our supplier information, the quality control systems of Ethiopia are essentially performed at the following four levels:
Coffee grading and quality control essentially starts at the production level. Farmers normally harvest coffee cherries that are fully ripen. This provides the basis for maintaining the quality of coffee destined for export.
In every major coffee producing district, there is quality inspection office, which checks the grade and quality of every truckload. This is done before the product leaves for the central quality grading and auction center. Any coffee that does not meet the minimum standard is rejected on the spot. Any coffee with more than 11.5% moisture content and 8% impurities by volume will not be transported to the auction.
The auction or terminal markets
This actually refers to the grading system at auction centers. Here the grading of the coffee is done by visual green analysis and cup tasting. Exporters usually buy different grades and qualities, of the different origins from the auction. Then the exporter has to reprocess the coffee to much the country export standard.
Before exporting, every exporter is obliged to bring their coffee to the central quality control, for quality checking and certification. The main objectives are to:
- Check if the green and cup qualities have met the export standard
- Check whether or not the origin’s character is sustained
- Maintain the country’s export reputation for its coffee quality, and
- Protect the overseas client’s interest.
By way of these rigorous quality control procedures, the consumer is assured of receiving high quality product. Hence, while upgrading and streamlining the coffee industry, Ethiopia is now in a position to offer a highest quality coffee even to the most selective and discriminative consumers.