Our system of quality labels
Each of the coffees we sell goes through several selection processes. We ask the producers to offer us the best they have, and we confirm their choice at their offices, warehouse or laboratory and then judge them again from imported samples back home.
According to their score, we sort them into five categories, with #1 being the highest quality category. The colours are inspired by the different stages of coffee bean ripening.
||50 - 59
||60 - 69
||70 - 79
||80 - 89
||90 - 99
Coffees labeled with a 5 are those that fulfill all of our minimal standards of quality coffee. Their taste is balanced and interesting, with a pleasant body. The following points #4, #3 and #2 are qualitatively better.
The highest grade of #1 can only be given to the best of the best. Coffees which have basically no room for improvement and excel in completely unique tones and boast a perfect balance of the entire spectrum of taste.
For cupping (tasting) our coffees, we use our own cupping sheets. These are partially inspired by the cupping sheets of the Specialty Coffee Association. A comparison is difficult, but it can be said that, roughly, a score of 50 in our cupping is equivalent to a score of 85 in Specialty Coffee Association. But that is a very imprecise approximation. Taste is a very subjective matter and that is also the reason why we have decided to develop our own unified system of labeling our coffees. 50 is the minimal score needed for us to consider trading the coffee. We only work with coffees in which we see a high quality and potential. If you wish you understand our scale, there is only one way to find out - taste our coffees!
Our quality standards also affect the price you pay for the beans. Paying a higher a price for higher quality coffees gives us a certain degree of control over maintaing and improving the quality of coffees produced by our longterm partners. By paying better money, we give cooperatives and farmers an incentive to maintain their quality, while also motivating their associated producers (within a cooperative union, for example) to reach the same level of quality, in order to get the same prices.