Influencing coffee quality

In order to produce top quality coffee beans, growers need to do all they can to provide a consistent grade of large sized beans.

This means carefully managing their tree canopy through pruning and ensuring that coffee quality – or bean grade – expectations are not conflicting.

It is important that as many coffee beans as possible mature at the same time, ensuring an even coffee crop with few unripe cherries in the sample at harvest. The threat of diseases, such as anthracnose, that can affect the berry at maturity should also be minimized. Growers should do all they can to protect the coffee quality crop during the primary processing stage. A key is good drying of the beans once the pulp has been removed. The use of wet process fermentation is said to produce a better coffee bean flavor and color.

Crop Nutrition and Coffee Quality

Good nutrition is critical to producing high yields of an even grade of coffee bean and positively influence the coffee quality. 

Nitrogen is needed for good growth, however too much at later stages of crop maturity can compromise coffee berry size. 

High supplies of potassium are needed during coffee berry set and berry fill, to maximize sugar accumulation in the cherry and eventual bean size. Potassium has been linked to the improvement of coffee cup quality. 

Calcium maintains coffee berry quality and improves tolerance to berry diseases. 

Magnesium and sulfur have been shown to improve caffeine content. 

Coffee crops require high quantities of iron– over 2 000g/ha year in order to produce strong, healthy, high yielding coffee trees. Any iron deficiency can spoil the coffee bean quality, resulting in amber beans. 

Most micronutrients improve healthy growth and minimize disease pressure.