• Sampling


    The golden rule of quality coffee is to do the best possible within one's capabilities. This means demonstrating first of all through the green appearance that a certain amount of care has gone into the coffee's preparation. Such care will automatically come through in the roast and in the liquor. If potential buyers do not see such signs of care in a green coffee sample they may discard it without even tasting it.

    The liquor will always show a coffee's real character, however exciting or dull that may be, but at least the liquor should never show any of the obvious defects mentioned earlier. If it does, do not send the sample to someone who you know buys only quality. Apart from the rejection that will follow, you may inadvertently ruin any chance of future business with that buyer because you have demonstrated an obvious lack of expertise.

    Samples must be representative. When you send a sample be sure that it is fully representative of the actual coffee or, if you do not have the coffee in stock, that you can match the quality. It is useful to note the following sampling definitions:

    • Stocklot samples are samples of the actual coffee that will be shipped if a contract is concluded.
    • Approval samples are sent for coffees sold 'subject approval of sample'. Such samples must be drawn from the actual parcel intend for shipment. Remember, a sale subject to approval is not really a sale until the buyer approves the sample.
    • Type samples represents a quality agreed with the buyer, expected to be matched in all respects. If you cannot match the sample quality in some respect, tell your buyer sooner rather than later.
    • Indication samples are an indication of what you expect to be able to ship, usually followed later by an approval sample which shows what you actually propose to ship.
    • Shipment samples or outturn samples are fully representative samples of the coffee that has actually been shipped
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