Coffee Quality Map

*Page in Working Progress*

The Coffee Quality Map is an honest analysis of how coffee quality is dispersed throughout the global coffee market; a valuable piece of coffee education missing from consumers until now.

This chart will lead to a better understanding the coffee market. For our purposes, this map is meant to educate consumers about the levels of coffee quality so people understand when they’re getting value and when they’re not.

The methodologies and values applied to each company example were created through a coffee supply chain expert “lens”, which is further explained in the details below …


Green Coffee ($USD): Green coffee is broken into 3 quality levels or “tiers” at a green source.

  • Tier 1: Represents $1.60-$3.23/lb; Includes specialty coffees; high elevation arabica beans, and constitutes about the top 20% of all coffee sold worldwide. Tier 2: Represents $1.10-$1.60/lb; Includes average quality with some defects and robusta beans (also known as “grocery store coffee”, and constitutes about 50% of all coffee sold worldwide. Tier 3: Represents $0.50-$1.10/lb; Includes low quality, low elevation, robusta with irregular beans, defects and inferior flavour (also known as “instant and institutional coffee”, and constitutes about 30% of all coffee sold worldwide.
  • As a green coffee company, Merchants of Green Coffee, has a very good idea of the prices these companies pay for green coffee.

True End Cup Quality: At a consumer level, a simple scale of 0-100 best describes the finished product (a black, brewed cup of coffee).

  • The values/scores are based an educated and methodical opinion from a green coffee company with over 25 years of industry experience, an intimate World Coffee Expert scientific education, and an unchallenged set of 4 Keys to the Best Tasting Cups of Coffee … Not to mention a true love for coffee!
  • 50-60: Extremely low end bitter institutional coffee. Tier 3 beans roast ground and package in low end of market.
  • 60-70: Average Grocery And Foodservice coffee that is made from mostly tier 2 beans. Mass market and convenience packaging with low cost care of volatility.
  • 70-80: Regional, National, and International Specialty Coffee. Tier 1 some tier 2 beans. Use of commercial higher end packaging with best before dates.
  • 80-90: Local Specialties – End cup has higher quality Tier 1 Beans and some degree of freshness where the volatile organic compounds can be found and extracted.
  • 90-100: Very Very Special – End cup follows all 4 keys without exception and is very difficult to achieve. Less than 1 percent of all cups consumed.
  • In order to apply an unbiased rating to each company example, Merchants of Green Coffee analyzes each through the lens of Sivetz’ Expert Coffee education, through our intimate experience with coffee supply chains (tree to cup, big and small), and our 4 Keys to the Best Tasting Coffee. Without access to companies’ data, a score on quality will always be slightly subjective in nature; Nevertheless, we use honesty and smart, educational filters to arrive at the most objective score possible. We are happy to receive critiques of our methods, but we know that our information is super accurate and will be updating this map regularly.

Why Coffee Education?

We are publishing this because we view unbiased education as the most important part of making a sale.
Any organization that wants to improve their quality of coffee can contact Merchants of Green Coffee and buy our green beans.