How To Read And Understand Coffee Packaging

Vietnamese Coffee Exporter

When buying coffee, do you read the content on the coffee packaging? Or is eye-catching form more important? Although I love beauty, I will never buy a coffee without the following four basic things: 1, the name of the type of bean; 2, preliminary processing method; 3, place of planting and 4, date of roasting

Coffee bags 250gr 96B have the following information:

ZONE: Where to grow

ALTITUDE: The height of the coffee growing place

VARIETY: Types of coffee

PROCESSING: Pre-processing method

TASTE NOTES: The taste of coffee is decided by 96B after cupping many roasts

ROAST DATE: Roasted date

With each line of information, we need to dig deeper:

ZONE: Information should be as specific as possible.


For example: When buying coffee, if the coffee packaging or barista only recommends coffee from Ethiopia, you should ask carefully: what region in Ethiopia is the coffee from? The coffee zone in Ethiopia stretches from the North (Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz) to the Southwest (Illulabor, Limu, Bench Maji, etc.), to the Southeast (Yirgacheffe, Sidamo, etc.) to the East ( Harrar).

In general, coffee in each zone often has a unique flavor and yield (of course, each lot at each farm will have different quality). When new to Ethiopian coffee, Yirgacheffe is a household name. But as you dig deeper, you’ll probably want to try coffee from Harrar, Guji, or Bench Maji. When the packaging does not specify which coffee zone the coffee is from, this will be difficult for customers to find out.

ALTITUDE: There is a perception that the higher the coffee is grown, the better it is. This has a basis because 1, the higher you go, the cooler the climate, the coffee needs more time to ripen, so there is more quintessence of heaven and earth ^^’ and 2, most of the excellent coffee varieties need high altitude. 1200-1500m or more.

However, this is not a guideline for coffee quality. Altitude is not a determining factor for climate; In lowland areas, there will still be areas with ideal temperature, light, and humidity for coffee to grow (microclimate).

VARIETY: Sometimes, you will see coffee packages that only write 100% Arabica. Some coffee shops that sell espresso-only say the coffee uses Arabica coffee, which has a sour taste. This is poorly understood/written/speech and is imprecise.


There are hundreds of varieties of coffee (variety) developed/crossed/varied from Coffea arabica ( species ). From the root Coffea arabica, coffee branched into Traditional types (Ethiopian ‘heirloom’ or landrace, Typica, Bourbon, etc.), Selections (Gesha, SL 14, SL 34, SL 28, etc.), Mutations (Caturra, Pacas, Maragogipe, etc. ), .), Hybrids (Catimor, Ruiru 11, Batian, Pacamara, etc.)

100% Arabica is a way of understanding hundreds of coffees together. This way of writing not only 1, meaningless and 2, does not show the origin and taste of coffee, but also 3, makes customers want to learn about coffee more confused.

PROCESSING: Preliminary processing does not stop at Dry Preliminary (Natural), Wet (Washed or Wet), or Honey (Honey). One of the problems with translating the pre-processing method into Vietnamese is that we still don’t have the right words to describe the process.

When discussing Wet processing, the seller may be talking about the Washed process or Wet process. However, the Wet process includes either Washed, Pulped Natural, Honey, or Wet-hulled (Giling Basah). With the Washed process this process can be divided into two concepts Washed or Fully Washed. Of course, coffee from the same farm will taste different with different processing methods.

In 96B’s opinion, no method is better than the other. Each farm will have a suitable preliminary processing method depending on the weather, temperature, budget, and experience. When cleaning and the correct process, the natural process will still keep the sweetness and clean cup. Not only Washed process can produce delicious and clean coffee products.

TASTE NOTES: This is the coffee taste assessed through the cupping process.

There is a question: why did I buy this packet of coffee to mix but not get the taste notes like on the package? There are many reasons: 1, cupping is a separate process, the ‘brewed’ way to cupping is different from most home-made coffees; 2, water quality; 3, quality grinder; 4. Water temperature and many other factors

At 96B, instead of just cupping traditionally, we also cup with Clever dripper to evaluate the taste of coffee according to the way customers drink it. You can also bring a pot to take home 96B water to make coffee. 

ROAST DATE: Is the newer the coffee, the better? Not necessarily. Each type of coffee with a different roast has a different degas process. Freshly roasted coffee takes time to settle. With drip coffee, 96Bis usually brewed after seven days of degassing. With espresso, the degas time is at least 14 days or more.

So when buying coffee, you can tell the barista what you intend to purchase and choose the right coffee package. New tomatoes are not guaranteed to be delicious, and old ones will have a damp or musty smell.

Something as easy as reading coffee packaging turns out to be not so simple ^^’ If you have any questions or concerns, send a message or email to 96B to reply.

Related Posts:


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *