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Brazilian Official Rules for 

Green Coffee


The mandatory technical guidelines for classification and quality grading of every green coffee bean produced in Brazil are the official rules issued by the Governmental Authority for Agriculture (Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento), "Instrução Normativa #8/2003".

The purpose of such rules is to specify all concepts regarding Brazilian green coffee beans, as well as the methods and technical steps to be followed for green coffee classification and grading.

According to this official rule, no green coffee bean can be marketed in Brazil if these classification and grading methods and steps are not certified by an official deputy authority.

The classification guidelines of this rule determines that the beans must be at first separated according to the species (coffea arabica, or coffea canephora), shape (flat seed,  peaberry, or sorted), and size (big flat bean, from screens 19/18 and 17; medium flat bean, from screens 16 and 15; small flat bean, from screens 14 and below; big peaberry, from screens 13/12 and 11; medium peaberry, from screen 10; or small peaberry, from screens 9 and below).

When the coffee beans are not classified by shape and size, as well as when the classified product contains beans from more than three different screens, the beans must be classified as "sorted" (not classified by shape nor size).

When the classified product contains broken beans from screens below the 14/64" screen, and contains at least 2/3 of not broken beans of different screens, the batch must be classified as "grinders".

After the species, shape, and size classification the green coffee batch under analysis must be classified according to aroma and flavor by a systematic cupping process. For Arabica beans the batch must be classified according to a specific grading scale, such as strictly soft (mild), soft (fine cup), hard (good cup), or sour (rio), and for Canephora beans the batch must be classified as excellent, good, regular, or irregular.


The beans must also be classified according to eight different patterns of color (blue green, green, yellow, brown, grey lead, whitish, or mixed), according to the rate of moisture, as well as to the rate of defects of the beans, such as black, sour, shell, immature, broken, cut, chipped, damaged by insect or fungus, pods, parchment, sticks, stones and foreign matters, hull and husks).

Below displayed is an example of a classification and quality grading certificate issued according to this official rule:


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