Shells, shards, hollow coffee beans

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
chanty 77

#1: Post by chanty 77 »

There have been a couple of vendors where I have noticed more shells, shards, and hollow beans than the other vendors I use. How much of this would you say is acceptable in a bag of beans. I typically buy 12 oz. bags because I like the variety. Thanks.

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TomC
Team HB

#2: Post by TomC »

Shells in and of themselves don't wreck a cup nearly as bad as something like a full black or sour bean. In standardized (SCA) coffee grading of 350g of coffee, it requires 5 elephant ear/shell/hollow beans to equal one full defect and more than 3 full defects in that sample size remove it from Specialty grade.

The main problem with them is their thin, odd shape usually means they burn and scorch much easier than the rest of the coffee mass.

If I noticed a sample of roasted coffee containing more than a few of these types of seeds, I'd probably shop elsewhere.
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BodieZoffa

#3: Post by BodieZoffa »

I was once a bit bothered by that sort of thing until I got more involved. Once I started home roasting I saw all sorts of things that might be looked at as imperfections to some, but considering the journey coffee makes from the tree to cup it's simply part of the process. It's quite normal to find a quaker or two that won't develop at the same rate, so toss them out. A hollow/shell now and then is to be expected as well. The shards could simply be due to the delicate nature of coffee itself when being handled as it doesn't take much effort to shatter most beans that are at least medium range in roast development. Most imperfections like that make no real difference in the cup based on my experience. Be on the lookout more for insect damage, stones, that sort of thing.

I know you have no interest in roasting, but if you did you would likely go stir crazy trying to sort every bean roasted. Some washed Brazil are picture perfect in every way, while a Sumatra Mandheling I did awhile back resembled shoveled road grit in green form.

chanty 77 (original poster)

#4: Post by chanty 77 (original poster) »

Thanks for the replies. I don't want to name the roaster. I found I enjoy the flavor of this blend (not to the point where I go ga-ga over it--but would have thought of keeping it in my rotations). I have a handful of shells, hollow beans & sharp little pieces & have only gone through 123.2g so far. I guess when you are paying for 12oz., and after removing so many shells, shards, pieces---I have to determine if it is worth it I guess. I understand that it would be impossible not to get them in a bag. I just question if what I've found thus far in that many grams of beans I've used is very normal.

BodieZoffa

#5: Post by BodieZoffa replying to chanty 77 »

Having some imperfections is to be somewhat expected (as mentoned), but a 'handful' in that small amount might be a bit much. Lots of commercial roasters with likely/surely similar offerings taste/price-wise, so try others and take it from there.

baristainzmking
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#6: Post by baristainzmking »

[quote="BodieZoffa"

I know you have no interest in roasting, but if you did you would likely go stir crazy trying to sort every bean roasted. Some washed Brazil are picture perfect in every way, while a Sumatra Mandheling I did awhile back resembled shoveled road grit in green form.[/quote]

That's why I prefer to roast Brazilian beans....so even, so easy.
Julia

Flannelsec

#7: Post by Flannelsec »

I have yet to have a bag of beans where there weren't a lot of small pieces to it. Just thought that was par for the course.

chanty 77 (original poster)

#8: Post by chanty 77 (original poster) replying to Flannelsec »

Not that I stared at every gram of beans I grind--(I don't). Sometimes it is way obvious. Like having a whole bunch of shells, pieces, hollow beans in one 17g basket. Then I started monitoring more. I almost filled a bowl with the shells, etc. No, not the case with most of the various beans I order. Again I"m not pouring the bag out & perusing through the beans, but I think I would notice like I did with this one bag if they were all problems.

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yakster
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#9: Post by yakster »

For me, seeing shards, shells, and hollow coffee beans in the green coffee I buy is the exception and not the rule.
-Chris

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