At the roastery we have a great dry processed coffee from Santa Alina in Brazil. The only drawback is that it comes with it’s fair share of unripes. So each time we roast this bean we spend some time picking unripes and defects from the cooling tray. As you probably know they stand out by being of a lighter colour than the rest. As we are a small specialty roaster we can take the time to pick out these and just to keep reminding ourselves of the importance of removing them we keep them and once in a while cup them.
But we have asked ourselves the question: How many defects can you have in a cup before it ruins it?
Today was the day to put this to the test. We picked a clean coffee (La Montanita CoE, El Salvador) as a control and a base to add the defect beans into. We set up the cupping table with six cups. One was a clean cup of La Montanita, the next we added one defected bean into, then two into the next and so on until the last cup which had five.
For our cupping cups we measure 12 grams of coffee to be within the ratio of 55 grams to 1 litre of water. Each defect bean weighed around .2 grams. This means that the ratio of bad beans to good ranged from roughly 60:1 to 12:1 in favor of the good beans.
Personally, after tasting a cup of defect beans several times before I thought this would be an easy match. I was wrong…
We blindcupped the six cups and none of us got them all right. In fact Tim V and Tim W only got the cup with the most defects and the control cup right. Myself I got none spot on, but were able to distinguish them roughly. The challenge seemed to get the better of us. For instance we all thought cup number one had a definite taste of defected bean in it but it proved to contain only one.
In conclusion we agreed on that the actual taste of defect in the cup would probably have more to do with the type of defect than the amount of defected beans in the cup.