This study assesses the effect of cooperative, certification, private trader, farmers, sorting and processing methods on Arabica coffee quality. Coffee samples were collected from certified cooperatives, non-certified cooperatives, private traders and farmers (members of certified cooperatives, non-certified cooperatives and non-members of cooperatives). The study showed that coffee beans sampled from cooperatives had higher quality scores and were classified as specialty 1 (Q1) (33%) or specialty 2 (Q2) (67%). About 78% of coffee beans sampled from private traders fall in grade 3, while 22% of their beans qualified for Q2. Coffee certification, in general, did not add any value to coffee quality. No quality differences were also observed between coffee beans sampled from farmers. Coffee quality differences were observed between coffee processing methods. Dry processing method improved coffee quality. However, this can only be achieved by using ripe red cherries. Cherry sorting also improved coffee quality and the percentage of coffee samples that fall in Q1. In general, proper coffee cherries type together with site specific coffee processing approach helps coffee actors to produce high quality coffee.
Key words: Arabica coffee, flavor, body, specialty, cherry, acidity.
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