Cafe Solar®: Solar Dried Coffee Q-Grading

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Official Q-Grade Results

The q-grading of coffee is a process that consumers don’t typically get access to and Cafe Solar® is not your average coffee. It’s the first solar dried coffee (processed using renewable solar energy). It’s also a supply of green coffee that’s built to mitigate climate change and its q-grading process (which is the confirmation of any coffee’s quality) represents an important aspect of this specialty coffee’s unique, transparent supply chain.

Q-grading this year’s (2019/2020) harvest of Cafe Solar, is Karen Jull, accredited Merchants Q-grader and Grocery Brand Manager for Cafe Solar coffee.

Karen’s extensive background in food product development combined with her past experience cupping and grading various solar dried coffee harvests over the years qualify her in providing a valuable sensory perspective on the development of this solar dried coffee. See our “Corporate Documents” page to download a copy of Karen’s q-grade results, in which she scored the coffee an 82.75.

A completely impartial at-source Q-grading of this coffee was also completed by ICAFE (the official Honduran coffee marketing board) prior to it being shipped from Honduras (in which the coffee scored a 85.09).

What’s the point of a Q-grading?

This grading is a systematic analysis of the producer’s hard work and applies a credible grading to the coffee.

How does this coffee compare/contrast with other coffees out there?

Scores above 80 signify “specialty” coffee and these coffees are considered to be in the top tier of world coffee quality. Individual scores depend on the subtle characteristics of each origin and the subjective experience of the cupper.

About Cafe Solar: Green Coffee Mitigating Climate Change

Cafe Solar is a green coffee and a first-of-its-kind solar dried coffee, which refers to its processing method. These green beans are fully washed, and then dried using 100% renewable energy supplied by advanced solar energy technology. This solar powered processing equipment stops the deforestation currently fueling wood-powered coffee processors … 16,000 acres of forest are currently lost each year as a cheap fuel source for conventional coffee processing!

This coffee is also grown using a restorative system of agriculture, which encourages growers to allow forest to regenerate on their lands. It’s coffee farming with a built-in reforestation program and it’s called Integrated Open Canopy™.

By stopping the current deforestation caused by coffee’s processing and growing additional forests, Cafe Solar coffee is not just sustainable coffee to produce … it’s a restorative coffee!

Our First Sampling of this Coffee

As soon as it arrives we break open a bag with great anticipation and try it.

Image of the first burlap bag being opened from the 2019/2020 harvest of Cafe Solar.
Breaking into the first burlap bag from the 2019/2020 harvest of Cafe Solar®. The green beans smell amazing and it’s a beautifully uniform example of quality, solar dried coffee.

Our Very First Tasting Notes

Roast Degree: 6/10
Acidity: 4/10 Body: 7-8/10
Complexity: Dark chocolate, lemon acidity, light grassy end notes, nice creamy body, no dry flavour, earthy, hints of fermented cassava, hazelnut, toasted coconut.

Then we commit to drinking this coffee at various roast degrees on a weekly basis throughout the year until the next harvest, taking notes all along the way. It takes time to truly familiarize oneself with a coffee, as nuances present themselves depending on a wide variety of factors; including the setting, the brew method, the brewer, the freshness of the roast, etc.

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