An Inside Look: The Green Room

As the new hire, (Hi, I’m Kaleigh!)

I've had the privilege to hang out in all departments of this company. I can’t tell you how awesome it is to see something go from a raw material to the final packaged bag or box of coffee.

Personally, I think Ed, Chris, and Carlos have one of the coolest jobs. Essentially, they are coffee tasters. And they work in the Green Room. Also, they make sure the green coffee we purchase is up to our standards.

Here at SF Bay Coffee, we pride ourselves on using only 100% Arabica coffee and has to have a score of 80 or higher.

Anything below eighty gets the boot from Chris, Carlos, and Ed. Three guys who are extremely familiar with coffee. It practically runs through their veins, they joke. Combined, they all have extensive knowledge of coffee, the different notes, acidity, body.

They are like sommeliers of coffee having the ability to detect the different notes of coffee that the average folks like me cannot detect.

It is fascinating watching them cup, as they test the coffee. On this day, we were cupping Sumatra beans from Indonesia. Unlike other beans, Sumatra beans are suppose to look "ugly" and irregular in size. Sumatran coffee is heavy, syrupy, with a unique flavor profile.  

Slurping, swishing the coffee around in their mouths, and then politely spitting it out into their own cup. I wasn’t so graceful.

Nor helpful when it came to scoring.

Afterwards, each one goes over his notes and scores. I had the opportunity to partake in the smell test were you blind smell over fifty notes ranging in honey to medicinal. I can say that I won’t be taking over any of their jobs anytime soon.

Folks, I got the chocolate note wrong. Chocolate.

Back to the beans, we don’t want any bad beans here at SF Bay Coffee Headquarters, so they make sure that when they cup, they grind enough beans to brew five cups of coffee from the same batch of beans.

Its all about quality control here. No bad beans.

Also, they examine the beans before they roast them to make sure they are all uniformed in color and shape.

Interesting fact, if you are  a Sumatra coffee drinker, they informed me that Sumatran beans tend to have distinct misshapen form compared to other beans.

Sure enough, they showed me the difference between Sumatra and Colombian.

See guys, there is a lot more to coffee and it is fascinating.

During our cupping time, all the Sumatran beans passed the pre-shipment.

Once approved, there is another inspection upon arrival. And more taste testing. The graders will cup and compare the new samples to  the pre-shipment sample. Once again, the batch of beans is searched for any foreign materials. So before the final product reaches the consumers there are numerous checks to ensure the quality of the beans remain the same from raw green beans to final roasted coffee beans.

The Green Room is just one of those steps.

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