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  • The aspect (or style) and the colour should be 'even'

    The green beans should be of compatible shape or style, colour and size. They (and the roasted beans or the roast) must give an impression of being reasonably even. This is most important for coffee that is to be retailed as roasted whole beans. Buyers know the green bean aspects that affect the liquor negatively and they consider these when evaluating any sample, irrespective of how they might use the coffee. Buyers dislike uneven greens because they can pose problems during roasting. The resulting uneven roasts do not appeal to consumers and in any case tend to produce lower liquor quality than do even roasts. Usually, uneven colour indicates the mixed harvesting of immature and ripe cherry, which also reflects negatively in the cup.

    The bean shape or style can vary with the cultivar. Usually coffee from the same cultivar will not show great variation in terms of shape and style, whereas uniformity of size is determined by the degree of size grading which takes place. But mixing different cultivars within a single consignment can produce uneven looking coffees, even if all the beans conform to the same screen size. This is especially so if coffee from cultivars producing solid and softish beans are mixed into the same batch. Softish beans usually have quite a different shape and style from solid beans; this will be especially evident in the roast.

    If different cultivars have been interplanted, as could be the case on a smallholding where there might be no room to separate them, then there is little to be done at the harvest stage. An estate with blocks of different cultivars could harvest and process them on different days, and hold them separately for example by colour coding each batch. But before going to this effort and expense, verify first through sampling if the end result warrants it.

    If coffee is collected commercially from different geographical production areas, care should be taken to verify its compatibility before mixing it, if necessary by making small trial blends by hand in proportion to the quantities to be mixed (bulked).