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Coffee Bean Size Influence on Coffee Taste

Maragogype coffee type is considered elite just because it has the largest beans. It seems that coffee taste depends on the size of the beans: the larger the beans, the better the coffee taste. But in reality, it's not like that. Read on to find out why it is so and how coffee bean size influences the coffee taste.

How coffee bean size is measured

To measure coffee bean size, coffee is sieved through a stack of special sieves which are called screens. Each sieve has holes of its own size: the top screen in the stack is the largest; the bottom screen is the smallest. By sifting coffee through such a simple device, the beans are sorted by size.

One screen is equal to 1/64 of an inch or 0.04 cm. You can convert a screen into centimeters using the formula: screen / 64 × 2.54. For example, screen 17 will be equal to 0.67 cm, and screen 18 - 0.71 cm. It turns out that bean of size 18 are 0.04 cm larger than bean of size 17.

Only green beans are measured, because during roasting their size will increase by 50%. So, the variation in size will become very noticeable after roasting.

Depending on the country or continent, the size will be indicated differently. The generally accepted classification starts from screen 20 and ends with screen 8.

Sometimes the bean size is indicated not by a number, but by a word. For example, screen 18 is called superior in Central and South America, screen 16 – Segundas, and so on.

How coffee bean size and coffee taste are related

The size of the beans depends on the climate, season and type of coffee.

  1. Often, the higher the coffee grows, the smaller the bean is, but its flavor is more vibrant.
  2. If there was too little rain in a particular season, the percentage of small beans in the crop will increase.
  3. Different varieties of trees are characterized by a harvest of different sizes of berries.

Coffee is often indicated solely by its appearance. Someone believes that large beans contain more flavor and aroma components, which means that such coffee is tastier and more expensive. Actually, it is not always like this.

In the current coffee grading system the bean size isn’t mentioned. Sometimes, among the beans of the same coffee, small beans outperform larger ones.

Reasons to sort beans by size

Bean size greatly influences the choice of roasting profile: the larger the bean, the more difficult it is to roast.

Firstly, the bean structure becomes more porous depending on the size.

Secondly, large beans are easy to overdry on top, but do not fry inside.

Roasting unsorted beans is even more difficult than just large or just small beans. In unsorted bean, chemical reactions begin to occur at different times. On the one hand, it is good, because such coffee turns out to be multifaceted. On the other hand, it is more difficult to manage the process of roasting such beans. In order to achieve a high-quality taste, one has to slow down or speed up some stages of roasting.

Mr. Viet Coffee

Mr. Viet produces real Vietnamese coffee. Our coffee beans are expertly roasted in Dalat region, Vietnam. We carefully select and control coffee roasting in order to get tasty and balanced coffee. We produce it in accordance with all the traditions of Vietnam.

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