Green Coffee – A Photographic Guide

(Please let this page load completely before clicking a picture)

I’ve been thinking about doing a green bean gallery for a while, and when I had a little spare time this evening I thought I’d have a go at it. Right from the off I should make it clear that this is not my area of expertise, and certainly down in the second half I might get the order a bit wrong, but it should still be of interest.

This post is mostly pictures. For some people this will all be very familiar, for some perhaps very new. I think the diversity in how green coffee looks is so fascinating that it deserved a post. If you are reading this in a feed reader it won’t be nearly as much fun. If you are reading it here you can either click each picture as we go or you can click on one and cycle through them as they pop up – they are all labelled. For now I just want a gallery, I will try not to rant too much about my personal opinions on certain coffees….

So, from the very beginning…..


The Cherry and the Parchment:

I broke open one of them, and scraped off a little parchment from the corner so you can see all the layers properly. I wish I had some fresh cherries to photograph…

Natural, Pulped Natural and Washed:

For me it is interesting to see how the colour changes across the processing methods (though these coffees are not all from the same farm or region, but hopefully they are “typical” enough to be benchmarks)

Kenyan Peaberry, Harrar Longberry and Sulawesi Kalosi:

I thought it would be interesting to have the slightly orange/yellow tinged Harrar next to the swampy green of the Kalosi.

The evil aged coffees – Monsooned Malabar and Old Brown Java:

I find it odd that the two aged coffees seem to have gone polar directions from their original colours, the Malabar fading away and the OBJ developing that disconcerting brown colour.

Supercritical CO2 Decaf (Colombian):

I’d like to find some more methods of decaf to photograph, and when I do I will add them in here.

Unwashed and Washed Robusta:

The washed robusta is a really clean prep and is a good robusta, even if it isn’t my kind of coffee.

Defected Maragogype and Triage Coffee:

I took my SCAE Barista Level 2 (though I never got round to paying for it, which means I don’t officially have it!) and one of the questions was about Triage coffee. At that time I had no idea what the term meant, and had to ask Alf Kramer who explained that it is pretty much the sweepings that no one would ever admit to buying but some people clearly do….


The next part is something might be of interest to quite a lot of folks. All of the next coffee is from the same mill in Kenya, and we go from AA all the way down to the sweepings. Because grading is partially based on size, sometimes distinctions may not be very clear from the photos.

Kenyan AA, Kenyan AB and Kenyan C

Kenyan PB, Kenyan TT, Kenyan T

Kenyan MH, Kenyan ML, Kenyan Madres/Elephant Ears

Kenyan E (Large screen, fat beans)

Just to be clear the E isn’t the lowest grade – I just couldn’t figure out where to put it. I will stick this post in the Articles section and in time (I hope) keep adding to it.

Comments and suggestions are very welcome….

9 Comments Green Coffee – A Photographic Guide

  1. Pingback: flyingthud

  2. Gobs

    I was just wondering the other day if there was a book on green beans. Great post, thanks for sharing.

  3. Grant

    Morning, Jim

    Ask AJ nicely and she may send you a sample of Swiss Water decaf for your photo guide…


  4. KawahaShaun

    ‘Kenya E’ is screen 19, ‘E’ stands for Elephant and is first off the grader, although I always used to ignore the E grade (as very small %) and throw an extra PB slotted screen (14 or 15) to get some meater PBs out and stop so many slipping into the C grade.

    Ruskies and Saudis love the triage.

  5. triptogenetica

    beautiful photos!

    I had some SWP decaf greens a while ago – I should have photoed them, but they’re used now. Shame – but they’re certainly uglier than a nice CO2 decaf

Leave A Comment