Some countries follow the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s (SCAA) method of grading, in which three-hundred grams of properly hulled coffee beans are sorted using screens categorized as 14, 15, 16, 17, or 18. The coffee is scored by the remaining amount of defects in each screen such as sour cherries, stones and sticks. This shows how evenly a farm may grow its coffee, or how well it is sorted through. The coffee is then taken to the cup tasters and given a grade.

Specialty Grade Coffee (1): Specialty grade green coffee beans must have no more than 5 defects in 300 grams of raw beans. Specialty coffee must have at least one distinct characteristic in its body, flavor, aroma or acidity with no faults. Moisture content is between 9-13%.

Premium Grade Coffee (2): Premium grade green coffee can have no more than 8 defects in 300 grams. Premium coffee must have at least one distinct characteristic in it’s body, flavor, aroma or acidity with no faults. Moisture content is between 9-13%.

Exchange Grade Coffee (3): Exchange grade green coffee must have no more than 9-23 defects in 300 grams. Moisture content is between 9-13% and no cup faults are permitted.


Going back to 1696 when the Dutch brought coffee to Batavia, which is currently named Java, the Dutch soon after became the main coffee supplier to Europe. Over the last few hundred years, the names Java and Sumatra have become popular synonyms with flavorful coffee. Consumers of specialty coffee also may recognize the names Bali, Lintong, Toraja, Kalosi, Gayo, and Mandheling. After a heaping 420,000 metric tons of coffee was produced in 2007, Indonesia became the fourth largest producer in the world. That year, a group of farmers, processors, exporters, roasters and retailers came together to form the Specialty Coffee Association of Indonesia (SCAI) to promote and improve the overall quality of Arabica coffee grown. The SCAI is open to share goals with anyone that is working with Arabica coffee from Indonesia including individual farmer and buyers. Their credo is “Excellence in Diversity,” which describes the farmers and environment from which the beans are produced. Much Indonesian Arabica coffee is processed by small holder farmers, who specialize in complex processing techniques, creating a unique specialty coffee.

Formerly known as Celebes, the Sulawesi island lies north of Flores. Tana Toraja, at the central highlands of South Sulawesi, is a primary region for high altitude Arabica production. Geologically, Sulawesi has a history over 100 million years old, resulting in high iron soils and a pronounced flavor to the coffee. Most of Sulawesi’s coffee is grown by small-holders, with only around 5% of imports coming from larger estates. Sulawesi farmers use a process called “Giling Basah” translated to “Wet Hulling.” In this technique, farmers remove the outer skin mechanically, using old pulpic machines. The beans are then stored for a day, rinsed and partially dried. The process increases body and reduces acidity, creating the Indonesian character consumers are looking for.