You want to buy green coffee, but your choice will not be easy if unless you know a few important facts, at least. Each bag of beans features lots of information, and it can be difficult to sort through it all to figure out what will end up in your cup. Besides, some facts are clearly written, while you will find out the rest facts only if you know to interpret these first.

They are also found in the Mlin Produkt pricelist, so the purpose of this test is to give you an easy and short guide for the future shopping. Here’s what a few of the most common phrases and symbols tell you.

THE COFFEE’S NAME-The most important words on a coffee bag’s label are the name of the coffee itself, which is the best indicator of what those beans are all about. For example, Mlin Produkt current offering Ethiopia Guji Dimtu Tero natural organic. This name tells you the coffee’s origin, producer/farm (Dimtu Tero), processing method (natural), and certification (organic).

THE COFFEE’S ORIGIN-Coffee grows best in an equatorial band called The coffee belt. Knowing where a bean originated can offer a hint about its flavor profile. If your taste buds prefer coffee that’s fruity and floral, shop for a coffee from Kenya or Colombia. Also, the geographical distance from equator gives clearly indication about beans traits.

THE FARM AND PRODUCER-Coffee roasters prize transparency, sustainable and ethical sourcing, and giving credit to the producers who work tirelessly to bring drinkers their morning cup. Knowing where coffee came from and who grew it gives consumers a clearer picture of the trip it took to their cup and enables them to be a more active participant in that coffee’s story.

THE ELEVATION AT WHICH IT GREW-Elevation has a direct impact on the size, shape, density, and flavor of the beans. Some of the most desirable coffees are grown at higher altitudes. Coffees grown at high altitudes greater than 2000 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l.) boast more acidity and livelier flavors, while coffees grown at low altitudes tend to be bland, sweet and maybe even earthy. High altitude coffees are tastier. The higher the altitude, the longer it takes for coffee cherries to ripen. This delay in ripening allows the cherries to develop more complex that create interesting flavors and variation acidity and sweetness. Coffees grown at very low elevations are exposed to harsher growing conditions (less rainfall, higher temperatures, less sunlight) and tend to exhibit less acidity.

THE VARIETY OF COFFEE-Coffee is a fruit that comes in a wide range of varieties: From Caturra to Bourbon to Typica to Gesha, Pacamara, SL28, Acaia, Catuai, there are dozens of kinds of coffee that impart different flavors in the cup. However, a Bourbon variety from El Salvador can taste much different from a Bourbon from Guatemala because the situation in which the coffee is grown (soil, climate, etc.) contributes different qualities.

THE PROCESSING METHOD-This term refers to the method used to extract seed (beans) from harvested coffee cherries (which we actually use and call it a coffee) and to ensure that coffee (seed of coffee) doesn’t ferment and doesn’t “spoil”. There are a number of unique methods, but they all fall into the general categories of wet or dry. The wet method will typically be identified as “washed” on a label. This wet process removes many of the coffee’s impurities, but it can also remove the coffee’s natural flavors. The dry method are more commonly known as the “natural” process. While naturally processed coffees are more intensely flavorful, the process takes much longer and is much more labor-intensive for producers. One of the newer methods is honey processing.
You can read more about this on Mlin Produkt blog, article Honey magic.

CERTIFICATIONS-Coffees, their producers, and their buyers can earn any number of certifications, but the most common certifications are Organic, Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, Smithsonian Bird Friendly and Utz. These markers are indicators of environmental and/or economic excellence.

FLAVOR NOTES-Perhaps the most important thing to look for are notes about the coffee’s flavors, but it’s very important to note that the flavors listed on a coffee bag aren’t necessarily indicative of the tasting experience you’ll get in the cup. It all depends on the way of roasting, the way of coffee preparation, your senses, etc. In other words, the flavors listed on a coffee bag label are in no way authoritative. However, they offer a helpful guide for the coffee roaster, as well as for the consumers to distinguish between sweet, savory, floral, fruity, earthy coffees while choosing a roasting profile or making a purchase decision.