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Varieties of coffee - put on shelves

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A variety of coffee is, for example, Jamaica Blue Mountain; arabica or robusta is a type of coffee.

The main criterion for the diversification of coffee varieties is the geography of their growth. That is, the country of growth follows the first paragraph in the name of any type of coffee: Uganda Robusta, Costa Rica Tarraz, Yemen Matari. There are exceptions: Monsoon Malabar, for example, which is known to be produced in India, or Kopi Luwak, which is known to be produced in Indonesia (although this has not been the case recently).
This practice can be called the inclusion of a unique identifier in the name of the coffee variety. Another example is Brazil Bourbon, where a unique identifier is a variety of coffee.

Not so long ago, the trend of additional geographical denomination of coffee varieties began to gain momentum, that is, the allocation of additional regions within the country: Costa Rica Tarraz (rather than Tres Rios), Ethiopia Irgachif (rather than Sidamo), Yemen Matari (and not Sanani). In this case, the name of the farm can serve as a unique identifier: for example, Costa Rica Tarraz La Pastora.

Further in the name of the coffee variety technical information follows: growth height, processing method and grain size. This information is encoded differently depending on the country of growth of a particular type of coffee: Colombia Supremo, Guatemala CFS, Kenya AA. Consider these notation.

The following designations indicate the height of the coffee variety: HB / SHB and HG / SHG, adopted in Central America. HB (Hard Bean) and SHB (Strictly Hard Bean) are used in Costa Rica and Guatemala, and the terms HG (High Grown) and SHG (Strictly High Grown) are used for Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Mexico.

HB and HG mean growth height from 1200 to 1400 m., And SHB and SHG - from 1400 m.

Why is the height of the coffee variety important?

The higher the coffee grows, the less oxygen is in the atmosphere, respectively, the slower the ripening process is - as a result, the grain becomes the most dense. Have you ever seen small twisted cows living in the mountains at an altitude of three kilometers? The coffee trees are the same. The most dense grains gain maximum acidity, which is responsible for the taste characteristics of coffee, and therefore coffee growing higher is valued more (hence the term "highland").

The following designations indicate the grain size of coffee varieties: for Colombian coffee varieties - Supremo and Excelso, for African coffee varieties, except Ethiopia (Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, Malawi) - AA, A, AB, B, C. With regard to size Grains of coffee I would like to comment on two points. Firstly, the grain size of a coffee grade is called a screen (from the English screen - screen, sieve).

A screen is a sieve with holes of a certain diameter through which coffee beans are sieved to sort by size.

Of the designations we mentioned for specific types of coffee: Supremo is a screen 17-20, Excelso is a screen 15-16; AA - screen 18.5-20; A - screen 17-18; B - 15-16; C - 14.

Secondly, the effect of grain size on the taste of coffee is not as obvious as the effect of growth height. If a variety is usually ranked by size (for example, Uganda Robusta, Monsoon Malabar, Brazil Santos, Kenya), then often, but not always a larger size gives a better taste: Santos 19 is better in taste than Santos 17, Kenya AA - Kenya C, but, for example, Uganda robusta 17 is often better than Uganda robusta 18, which is rather an exception to the rule.

But! If it is not customary to sort the sort of coffee by size, this does not mean that it is worse or cheaper! For example, Yemen or New Caledonia, which at the same price as Jamaica Blue Mountain, the grains of these varieties are small, while the taste characteristics of the cup are absolutely amazing.

Conclusion: in the coffee world, size does not always matter!

Also, grain size is indicated by the grade parameter for coffee varieties from Vietnam, Peru, and Jamaica Blue Mountain. For coffee varieties from Ethiopia, grade indicates the processing method: 1 and 2 are washed processing, 3-5 are natural.

So, the name of the coffee variety is built according to the following pattern: country of growth + additional geography + unique identifier + technical information.

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