Traditional Grades of Indian Coffee

As in most countries, India processes coffee by the wet (or washed) and dry (natural or unwashed) methods.

India, however, uses a unique nomenclature for its coffees.  Washed Arabica beans are known in India as Plantation (not to be confused with estate coffees), while washed Robusta beans are referred to as Parchment (not to be confused with coffee in Pergamino). Natural Arabica and Robusta beans are both known as Cherry (not to be confused with the fruit on a coffee tree).

Grade designations are as follows, from top grades to bottom grades:

Arabica

  • Washed
  • Unwashed
  • Plantation-PB
  • Cherry-PB
  • Plantation-A
  • Cherry-AB
  • Plantation-B
  • Cherry-C
  • Plantation-C
  • Cherry-BBB
  • Plantation-BBB
  • Cherry-Bulk
  • Plantation-Bulk

Robusta

  • Washed
  • Unwashed
  • Parchment-PB
  • Cherry-PB
  • Parchment-A
  • Cherry-AB
  • Parchment-B
  • Cherry-C
  • Parchment-C
  • Cherry-BBB
  • Parchment-BBB
  • Cherry-Bulk
  • Parchment-Bulk

These grade designations are based on the size of beans (each bean fits into certain sieves during grading) and the percentage of imperfections.