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  • 11.7.1-COFFEE QUALITY-THE IMPORTANCE OF LIQUORING

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  • The importance of liquoring

     
     
    First impressions are vitally important. If the green does not make it to the roasting room then the coffee will never be tasted. It is pointless therefore to send samples which do not demonstrate at least a minimal effort at creating a presentable product - the amount of effort one puts in depends on the market segment that is to be targeted or, perhaps, the premium one is trying to attract.

    Remember that, in principle, there is no inherently bad coffee. If a coffee presents really poor quality, the cause can usually be traced to poor harvesting and post harvest processing, drying, storage and handling.

    It is absolutely essential to maintain stringent standards of cleanliness at all stages, especially in wet processing. If this is done, almost any coffee has the potential to show a presentable green with at least a passable cup or liquor. How your potential buyer judges that liquor will depend on the type of coffee, and on how it matches their specific preferences and objectives. A buyer will not buy a coffee that does not fit their requirements, even though they may have appreciated it for what it was. Aspiring sellers therefore need to understand the requirements of the market segment they are thinking of targeting.

    Without the ability to liquor one cannot be a successful exporter
    . All coffee is sold to be drunk, and someone, somewhere will taste a coffee before it is roasted. Sending out samples of obviously unsuitable or even unpleasant coffee is a recipe for disaster. It conveys the impression that the seller does not know his own product, or does not care. Such samples also suggest that the seller might ship unclean-tasting coffee and many buyers, especially smaller ones, will therefore avoid them. Inexperienced suppliers represent potential danger: if on arrival the liquor is no good, then the coffee cannot be used. This causes a shortfall in supply which has to be made up from elsewhere, and the buyer has to find a way to dispose of the offending coffee, which meanwhile may be taking up finance and storage space.

    Liquoring is also important for other reasons. A seller who cannot properly evaluate the quality of their own coffee also cannot value it against the price at which the competition or other origins are selling. Without liquoring it is nearly impossible to judge whether one's asking price, for example, is too high or too low.