Bean Type Explanation

In addition to a "quick name" given to each bean type (e.g. "Kenya Karii Natural"), we provide some further details that may need explanation.

Country Nation where the coffee was grown.
Region Where the coffee is grown within that nation.
Farm/Group Who/where the coffee is grown by within that region.  In some cases, coffee is grown and sold by a single farm/estate.  In other cases, coffee is grown by multiple growers on multiple pieces of land, then pooled to/sold to a cooperative.
Station/Plant Who/where the coffee completed its processing to be "green beans" ready for sale/distribution.  In some cases, the coffee is completely processed on the same campus where it was grown.  In other cases, it is transported to a washing station or factory.
Variety There are 2 commonly available species of coffee: arabica and robusta.  Within these species (and in some cases hybrids of them), there are many varietal branches (e.g. Typica, Bourbon, Gesha).  A given variety may be grown because it produces higher quality or higher yielder in a given growing environment, or for disease resistant, or for end flavor... or simply because it's the available local heirloom variety.  Cafe Imports developed a brilliant family tree, HAVE A LOOK.
Process A "coffee bean" starts as a seed contained in a fleshy, red fruit.  By varying means, the flesh is removed and the remains are dried over some period of time, giving you "green coffee".  The exact steps of that process can drastically effect the quality and flavor of green beans.  The 2 most common categories of processing are washed/wet and natural/dry.  In washed processing, the fruit and more of the residual innards (e.g. "pulp") are removed from the seed near to the time that the fruit is picked.   In natural processing, the whole fruit or more of the residual innards are allowed to dry naturally.  Washed processed uses more equipment and requires a great deal of water, and so washed processing is more likely to occur at some shared facility/regional washing station, while natural processing can be more feasible right on the farm.  Washed processing tends to produce a "cleaner" and more consistent flavor, while natural processing tends to produce more fruity/funky/exotic flavors.  There are many in-between approaches (e.g. honey/pulped, wet mill) and special processes (e.g. anaerobic, monsooned).  
Designations Any special designations indicated by the producer, such as standards for bean size sorting (e.g. AA, Supremo), Peaberry, special terroir labels (e.g. Malabar), or growing/trading standards (e.g. Organic, Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance).
Importer/Distributor We will list here any further parties that we are aware managed the handling of beans between source and Berkley Coffee.

There are a few different styles in which people describe roast degree/color.  Some use common names such as Cinnamon, City, Full City, French, Italian.  Some use plainer descriptions like Light, Medium, Dark.  These terms are often used subjectively with great variation, but the SCA does define a relationship between those plainer terms and a measurable color scale called the "SCAA Gourmet Scale".  This scale assigns numbers to optically measured ground bean color.  The scale is employed by lab tool manufacturers, and is identical to the scale first developed by such a manufacturer, Agtron.   The manual for the CM200 Manual has a nice little table associating all those description approaches. 

When we roast at Berkley Coffee, we measure the resulting beans whole and ground with a tool by Lightells (Taiwan) called the CM200, which employs the Agtron/SCA scales described above.  In our bean types list, we indicate the whole/ground Agtron color and associated human name (e.g. light, medium-light, dark). Please respect that our noted bean colors are a measured sample from each bean's target roast profile.  Color result can vary a bit roast to roast, even when the profile steps are followed to a tee.

Bear in mind that roast color is not the whole story.  Dark does not equate to bold or "better for espresso".  Light does not equate to a weak cup, or "fruity stuff".  What is guarunteed, is that for a given bean, varietal characteristics will diminish as the roast gets darker, and the general flavor profile will transition from sour/acidic to bitter/roasty.  Light roasts are more likely to bring out uniqueness bean to bean, while dark roasts tend to lose their distinction but offer a more consistent flavor emphasing the char taste introduced by the roast itself.  We enjoy the full spectrum, but choose to more often roast light/medium.  There would be less point in offering a large array of bean types from different orgins, if they're all dark.


A subjective description of what flavor/aroma/textures were noted by us or our suppliers/producers when this bean was sampled.