If in the previous article we have discussed four examples of secondary defects, then in this article we will continue to discuss 6 other examples of secondary defects according to SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America).

There are six secondary defects that we will discuss in this article. These defects are partial black, partial sour, immature/unripe, withered, broken/chipped, and slight insect damage. Defect What are they like?

Partial black

Partial black is characterized by black color on half of the coffee beans. This defect has a physical form that is almost similar to one of the primary defects called full black.

The difference is that the black color in full black almost covers all parts of the coffee beans, while in partial black. The black color only covers half of the coffee bean.

In addition, Partial black can also be prevented by providing proper nutrition and monitoring the development of fungal diseases on coffee plants.

In defect scoring, 3 partial blacks are counted as equivalent to 1 full defect. The presence of partial black in coffee can cause a variety of unpleasant flavors in coffee such as dirty, moldy, sour phenolic, and stinker flavors.

These defects often occur due to errors during the process of growing, harvesting, and processing coffee. To prevent this coffee bean defect, farmers or processors are required to be more careful when harvesting, fermenting, and sorting coffee horn skins.

Also read: 4 Examples of Secondary Defects in Coffee [Part 1]

Partial sour

Partial sour as another example of a secondary defect has an influence on the appearance of sour and stinker flavor sensations in coffee.

In the defect score, 3 partial sour beans are equivalent to 1 full defect. This defect can be recognized by the physical shape of the beans, which have a light brown or dark brown color on half of them.

To prevent this defect , processors must pay attention to the storage time, fermentation, and drying process of the coffee beans.

In addition to adjusting the length of processing time, prevention of partial sour coffee beans can also be done by paying attention to the level of cleanliness of water and coffee storage containers. This is done to avoid contaminating the coffee beans to bring out the sour flavor in the coffee.

Read also: Peel Through 3 Examples of Primary Defects in Coffee Beans [Part 1]


This defect can be recognized by the presence of silverskin that is still attached to the coffee beans and its smaller size compared to other coffee beans.

Immature is generally caused by errors in picking immature coffee cherries. In addition to harvesting factors, immature coffee beans can also occur if the coffee plant is under-fertilized or affected by drought during its growth process.

Immature coffee beans have physical characteristics such as a wrinkled surface and a pale greenish color.

To prevent immature coffee bean defects, farmers are encouraged to pick coffee cherries that are fully ripe. During processing, especially the dry or wet mill stage , processors also need to sort immature coffee beans.

Prevention is important because although not as fatal as primary defects, the presence of immature beans can still reduce the flavor quality of coffee, such as the appearance of astringent (coffee flavor that leaves a slight salty taste on the tongue).

Withered coffee beans

The presence of these defects can have an impact on the flavor quality of the coffee including the loss of characteristic sourness and the appearance of grassy or straw flavors in the coffee depending on the number of defects.

Withered coffee beans are often formed due to the lack of fertilizer and water during the planting process and coffee growth.

To avoid withered coffee beans, the role of the farmer is important to ensure that the coffee plants are always in good condition and do not experience drought. When coffee beans are processed in the dry mill, sorting of withered coffee beans can also be done using density sorting.

Read also: Thoroughly Review 3 Examples of (Other) Primary Defects in Coffee Beans [Part 2]


Broken/chipped coffee beans can be recognized by the physical shape of the coffee beans that have been damaged or broken. This defect is often formed due to errors in machine settings when pulping or dry milling coffee.

When coffee beans are damaged or broken, they are more likely to oxidize and cause mold growth. This is certainly not desirable because it can result in the appearance of earthy, dirty, sour, and fermented flavors in the coffee.

To prevent this type of defect , it is first recommended to pick ripe coffee cherries. Underripe seeds tend to be more fragile and may break during processing.

Broken coffee beans can also be minimized in quantity by sorting using a density sorting or color sorting machine.

Broken/chipped can also be avoided by ensuring that during the pulping process, the beans are not subjected to too much pressure or friction that causes the beans to become damaged.

Slight insect damage

SCAA also classifies slight insect damage as part of secondary defects.

In the defect score test , 10 slight insect damage will be counted as equivalent to 1 full defect. These defects can have an impact on the flavor quality of the coffee such as the appearance of dirty, sour, ferment, or moldy taste sensations .

Generally, slight insect damage occurs due to berry borer attacks on coffee plants.

To prevent this from happening, preventive measures can be taken by farmers by routinely monitoring crop conditions or by utilizing the beauveria bassiana fungus to control pest attacks.

When coffee beans are processed in the dry mill, processors can also sort out slight insect damage using density sort ing or manually.

Read also: Types of Flavor Defects in Coffee Cupping Assessment


Those are some kinds of secondary defects that we can know. By knowing these secondary defects , it will be easier for us to know how to deal with coffee bean defects.

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