In the coffee industry, the term “defect” refers to any aspect of the coffee that deviates from the desired or expected standard, and that negatively affects the taste, aroma, or overall quality of the coffee. Defects can occur at various stages of the coffee production process, from growing, harvesting, processing, to roasting and brewing.

Describes green coffee that has developed problems resulting in bad flavour. Bad beans in green coffee samples are classified as defects, and scored against the coffee to determine its grade. Full black beans, sours, and severe insect damage are a few examples of defects.

Canterbury Coffee Assistant Roastery Manager, Tim Cole.

Defects can be categorized into two main types: primary defects and secondary defects.

Primary green coffee defects include: full black, full sour, dried cherry, fungus damage, foreign matter, and severe insect damage. Secondary defects include: partial black, partial sour, parchment, floater, immature or unripe cherries, withered cherries, broken, chipped, or cut beans, and slight insect damage.

The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) has established a cupping protocol and a Defect Handbook which is widely used in the coffee industry to identify and grade coffee defects. These protocols are used to evaluate the coffee beans, and they involve the process of cupping, which is a method used to evaluate the quality and characteristics of coffee beans.

The coffee industry has strict standards for coffee quality, and coffee beans with defects are typically removed or rejected, and are not used for specialty coffee.

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