Has various meanings: Hard can be a positive description of the green coffee, an older trade term meaning that it is dense. Hard can be a negative taste descriptor, which denotes a harsh, dirty, unclean taste or an astringent mouthfeel. In Brazil grading, hard and soft are used in contrast to each other: Terms like “hard” and “soft” describe the flavor, not the bean itself. So “soft” is mild and fine, and “hard” refers to a poor taste. In Central America hard is used more in terms of the first meaning, dense coffee, which often comes from higher altitudes. Hard in terms of bean density signifies quality and has nothing to do with hard flavors in the cup, such as SHB grade coffee – Strictly Hard Bean in Guatemala.

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