Grading is the evaluation of various coffees for commercial use. The grading of coffee is an art and a science of its own and is performed by experts in the field. The following criteria are used for grading coffee:
• Imperfections (these include broken, immature beans, sticks, stones, leaves, debris, etc.)
• Bean size (bigger beans have a higher value)
• Age of the crop (how old the plants were at harvest time)
• Altitude (height above sea level at which shrubs were grown)
• Processing method used (wet or dry method)
• Species and variety of plant (i.e., Arabica or Robusta and what variety of each)
• Plantation or area of production (the signature ‘brand name’ of each crop)
• Cup quality (practical evaluation of taste and smell).
Once they have been graded, green coffee beans are then shipped to roasters to be prepared for consumers all around the world.