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Thread: black beans?!

  1. #1
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    black beans?!

    my last shipment of coffee included a bag of colombian coffee. the bag seemed to have some kind of dark stain on one side. as if it laid in something. I opened the bag and saw that some of the beans were black. I emailed the supplier and attached some pictures and they offerd to send me another bag, or to credit my invoice, and that was fine. I think they said the bag may have gotten wet, and the beans were moldy. they said to throw the beans out, that they would be awful tasting. and I went ahead and roasted some and sure enough, they taste awful.

    is this common? I've never had it happen before.

    why would say, 20 beans or less, in 4 #s of green coffee affect the taste so much? Is all the coffee yucky? even if it isn't blackened? is there anyway to salvage such a bag? just curious, really.

  2. #2
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    more likely an imperfection than mold. It is from picking coffee that has fallen to the ground. Yucky tasting? Yes...sour
    "Wine is for aging, not coffee."
    Ken Hutchinson, Starsky and Hutch

  3. #3
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    Serious coffee defect (called sours I think)...these black beans can actually taint the beans around them and usually wiyth the quantity your experiencing the whole bag is tainted.

    I remember now...we called them "stinkers" ....nasty nasty things to have to many of in a sack!

    Your right to get rid of the bag.

  4. #4
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    Re: black beans?!

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzy
    my last shipment of coffee included a bag of colombian coffee. the bag seemed to have some kind of dark stain on one side. as if it laid in something.
    How can it be a processing error through drying or fermentation? He claims the bag was stained on one side.

  5. #5
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    I would agree with coffeeexpert. It seems these black beans are not from origin, rather the sack has been stacked (perhaps unpalletized) on a wet surface, thus introducing moisture into the coffee. If the sack had come in a container from orgin, often thebeans are unbelievable just stacked on the container floor in sacks. You can get 300 sacks, or 18 metric tonnes (18,000kg) into a container in this fashion. There is a slight chance that the container floor, which is always wood over steel, could have been damp from a previous shipper, or that the seals on the container door were fault, thus allowing some moisture into the lower sacks. However, I would be HUGELY suprised if the broker would release a sack with obvious moisture damage to a buyer. Not only would it be poor business (we all talk about these things in places like ... coffeeforums!), but also he/she as the broker would be able to claim the damaged sacks back against either the freight forwarder or the steamship line.

    My guess is the damage may have happened in transit from the brokers warehouse to your warehouse. Despite the best plans of trucking companies, there are many places where a sack could pick up moiture damage along the way. Anyway, your broker has done the right thing by accepting responsibility and replacing the goods in question.

    If green coffee has been damaged by moisture, there is not a lot you can do. If you dry the coffee out, often it will have perculiar "iodine" and "sacky" taints. I am not sure where these flavors come from, but my experience of bringing coffee in from all over Indonesia has taught me that one wet...best forget it.
    Merdeka Coffee (Indonesian Coffee Roasters and relationship coffee specialists) - Antipodean (Coffee - Cafe - Culture)

  6. #6
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    I realised about the moisture issue, but that normally doesn't turn the beans black, it makes them mouldy. The description she gave implied black beans evenly spread through the bag, not all near the wet patch?

    Only he can answer this one.

  7. #7
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    Yes lets see if Lizzy can elaborate more on this. I would agree normal water based moisture in small ammounts would not create a problem like this...but conversely I struggle to see how a reputable broker would accept a shipment of coffee with black beans (and probably other imperfections) from origin. Most coffee is shipped on LC on sight, so bokers have the chance to reject a shipment before it arrives at their warehouse. I know a few years back a very big US roaster had this problem with a Indonesian broker out of Sumatra. It is a pain in the butt for the broker/roaster because they are relying on inbound greens being up to the grade of the shipping samples. In the case I mention almost 30 containers were rejected. It caused a lot of problems for the roaster but even more so for the exporter who got a really bad name.
    Merdeka Coffee (Indonesian Coffee Roasters and relationship coffee specialists) - Antipodean (Coffee - Cafe - Culture)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alun_evans
    ...but conversely I struggle to see how a reputable broker would accept a shipment of coffee with black beans (and probably other imperfections) from origin. Most coffee is shipped on LC on sight, so bokers have the chance to reject a shipment before it arrives at their warehouse.
    They only sample a percentage of any batch, not every bag, so it's possible a rogue bag can slip through....it happens sometimes. Usually it's simply bad luck, sometimes it's the producer or in country broker, trying tpo slip a few low quality bags through!

 

 

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