Cocoa-Like Stone …


If I focus myself enough and not take it too fast, I can easily spot stones while sorting out cacao defects. I know I need to. First, I never want to feed myself and my customers with ground stones. Second, it may affect flavor. Render the product inedible in extreme cases. Third, it damages equipment.

What if a stone was missed during the selection process? My two old and inefficient grinders almost always tell me. Grinding nibs included with a stone or two produces a sudden cracking sound for few seconds. Luckily, it became part of the liquor. In case too hard, the annoying sound won’t stop. Grinding process should be halted. Disassemble the machine and look for the hard to find stone among the partially ground nibs. A waste of time, quality reduction and possible machine damage.

Stones are small in most cases and pass through the three layer sorting screens that I am using. Larger ones are easy to spot. So, no more worries. However, sometimes, the culprits disguises themselves as cacao beans. Rare case and happened only twice.

For this second time, I had free time to get picture and post it here.


Its shape resembles cocoa beans but the green shade made me suspicious, so I looked closer. It is a hard stone that perhaps do damage my current grinder.

Saving The Defective Coffee Beans

Defective coffee saving strategies for desperates. Ohh, sorry! I mean the following suggestions are for people who want to get most out of their hard earned money.


Dried cherries. Either whole cherries or partially cracked. The milling machine failed separating the bean from husk. Or, accidentally included in batch of good milled beans. Save these for the next mill run.

Beans in parchment. Husk removal by machine was successful but parchment was not. Remove the parchment hand then bring back the good bean. This might be harder than what your are thinking.

Fragments. Broken beans, fragments an pulper nipped are three separate categories in terms of coffee defects. Broken means a small part is removed, fragments are smaller than broken, pulper nipped are either broken or fragment but caused by pulping machine (coffee wet processing). These three are all fragments to me. I suggest separating these types. Then make the size more or less uniform by passing it thru grinder or hammer mill. Roast separately using adjusted parameters.

Shells. They look literally like clam shells. Thinner than regular beans. Treat it like fragment beans.

Insect holed beans. Save and do as instructed in fragments section. Reduce its size separately and winnow two to three times to expel weevil and weevil discharge.

Do the above items at your own risks! Good result is not guaranteed.

All the non-mentioned defects should be discarded.