Colour Grading Coffee


It comes in a light, medium or dark roast.

Regardless of choice, it brings joy to most.

To ensure joy is being felt in the hearts of those who consume coffee, brewers of coffee go through an extensive selection process to obtain the perfect beans.

Coffee beans usually come in a variety of shades. Raw coffee “beans” are green, roasted beans are brown to black. The final colour of a bean before it is ground is dependent on when the roasting process stops. It is important to note that the colour of a bean is directly related to its roast level, which in turn affects the flavour. The lighter the roasted beans are, the fruitier and sweeter the resulting coffee will be, whereas darker roasts start to lose these light, fruity flavours.

Since market needs vary, manufacturers of coffee produce more than one shade, although specialised producers may focus on niche and speciality brews.

Getting the perfect shade:

The challenge of dark roast coffee is that when you get into the darkest end of the colour scale, it’s much more difficult to distinguish between a bean that’s extremely dark brown in colour and a bean that’s veering into the black end of  the scale. As a product’s colour approaches the darkest shades that the human is capable of seeing, some available visual light is absorbed.  When this happens it is harder to spot differences, because the beans appear too dark to accurately detect subtle hues of brown within the black.

Enters the solution:

Konica Minolta has engineered a special CR-410C version to measure the quality of coffee in various forms: whole green beans, roasted beans, roasted and lyophilized coffee forms.

Without a colorimeter, coffee bean colour measurement is conducted either visually or with bulky expensive instruments. The CR-410C is a low-cost, handheld option that uses the Speciality Coffee Association of Americas (SCAA) speciality coffee index to calculate the colour, difference from a standard, roasted level (light, medium, medium dark, dark), and pass/ fail information.

This instrument comes with a variety of optional accessories to make measurements simpler and faster.

Why use an Instrument?

As you may or may not know, we cannot rely on visual assessment because the human eye is often biased. One viewer might see a dark bean that appears closer to the ideal colour on the colour scale card, while another might see a bean that’s closer to the “burnt” end of the scale. Thus to remove all confusion and bias, we use colour measurement systems.

If you are colour grading coffee and would like to know more, get in touch with us and speak to one of our experts.

Our promise is simple: “We won’t sell a product if we cannot take full responsibility for the sale, implementation, service, support, consulting and training thereof.”