• Defining quality

    Who defines quality? Behind every successful importer and roaster stands a satisfied body of consumers. But the final judge for growers is, simply put, the importer (or roaster) who pays a satisfactory price for a coffee and who does so on a sustained basis. Once you know what this person takes into account when judging your coffee, you can relate this to your entire production process and see where you need to take corrective or supportive action.

    The first impression can make or break a coffee's prospects. The first impression a potential buyer gets of any coffee is when a sample of the green coffee is put in front of them. If the green immediately creates a negative impression then the least that will happen is that the coffee will be subject to bias from then onwards. The worst scenario is that the sample is not even tasted and is simply thrown away.

    Many exporters complain of getting no response to samples they send out, but green coffee buyers are usually very busy people. Getting them to take time out to taste a new coffee is not always easy, especially if their first impression is not very positive.

    Hence the need to target one's markets. It is not just costly but almost pointless to send samples to all and sundry in the hope of achieving the odd hit.
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