The Raw Coffee Quality Pyramid

In the coffee world, there’s a quality pyramid that illustrates the many types and qualities of this popular beverage. The broad base of the pyramid rests on the two main commercial species: arabica and robusta.

Arabica is the one that popularized coffee consumption throughout the world, and all fine coffees belong to this species. Robusta is regularly used for soluble coffee, and its characteristics are harsher than arabica’s.

The aroma and taste of the traditional arabica coffees surpass the hybrid species in the second echelon. And in the third echelon we see those traditional varieties that gradually ripen under shade. Shade-grown coffees, besides providing huge environmental advantages, are preferred by connoisseurs because the slow maturing process allows coffee cherries to fully develop their sugar content. 

The fourth echelon of the quality pyramid contains the traditional shade varieties that preserve their attributes through the wet process, receiving the name of washed coffees once this level is achieved.

 The fifth echelon belongs to the washed arabica variety, which is sun dried. This technique avoids mechanical processes that might result in a defective product, delivering a bean of excellent physical traits and a moisture level that homogenizes and preserves cup quality.

Finally, the apex of the pyramid contains entirely handcrafted coffees, which receive a greater level of recognition. These coffees result from skillful practices at the field and milling levels, creating a mystical product. That’s how we obtain a product highly esteemed and recommended by world coffee tasters.

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