Is it the way it’s grown or shipped? Is it the way it’s roasted or prepared?
The answer is yes, yes, yes, and yes to all those things–and more!
The best coffee hits a high-standard for every step of the coffee production process from cherry to chalice. We call this complex combination of health and good taste The Purity Standard.
For Purity, a holistic approach to coffee and health is paramount. Our Director of Coffee, Ildi Revi, has used over twenty years of experience with coffee to inform a comprehensive list of benchmarks for health and taste.
We believe consumers deserve to know how their coffee is harvested, stored, tested, and shipped.
We at Purity strive to hit the targets that we’ve set, but there’s a lot of room for improvement. For the sake of full disclosure, it’s important to let our customers know how we measure up.
For every criteria, we know where we stand. We aim for consistency, and we maintain it through rigorous testing. Even though it may require going the extra mile when it comes to both time and money, Purity spares no expense. In fact, we have spent over $10,000 on testing every batch of coffee beans for toxins before and after roasting.
Our standards are grouped into six categories: organic, farming, processing, roasting, packaging, and sustainability.
A lot of coffee brands are amazing at meeting particular standards, but less so than others. Some, for example, reach full marks for organic growth and harvest, but fall short when it comes to roasting to minimize PAHs. Others may have high levels of antioxidants, but might not be organic. Some may not even reach a level 1 score for many of these criteria. A top score is 55. Our current score is 32, and we are always striving to reach higher levels of quality.
We consider it vital to know where coffee beans come from, and we are never complacent in our sourcing. As a baseline, our coffee must be organically grown to eliminate any chance that
toxic pesticides have permeated the coffee cherries. We ensure our coffee is officially certified organic, but have yet to reach the highest standard of organic coffee: the Smithsonian Bird Friendly Certification. This is an aspiration that serves the cause of healthy coffee as well as environmental sustainability.
While many companies might choose a single farm and ignore variations in bean quality, we test every harvest. We maintain relationships with multiple conscientious farmers, consistency is our top priority–only the best beans make the cut. Ideally, we aim to someday collaborate with the farmers themselves on how to grow the healthiest coffee possible year after year.
We test everything to ensure the harvested beans are as good as they can be. We test the coffee to ensure it meets the SCAA Green Coffee Grading Standards so that it qualifies as “Specialty Grade.” That means its beans are free of fungus, insect damage, sour or withered beans, and other imperfections–and that its flavor profile is first rate. While 80 is the baseline and 90 is the highest possible score, so far we’ve hit between 85 and 89.75 points every time.
We have our green beans tested at a third party lab to make sure the coffee is free of dangerous compounds like Ochratoxin A.
We also want to be certain that our beans are below a threshold of 20 mold and yeast colonies — all coffee has at least a few trace amounts of these compounds before roasting. And once our beans are roasted in a smokeless machine, regulated by a computer-controlled algorithm, we are proud of the low levels of PAHs and acrylamide and the high levels of antioxidants. For chlorogenic acids, we consistently score 2.1g/100g while other brands average about 1.3.
This careful balance makes Purity’s healthy roasting profile one of its greatest achievements.
We work hard to make sure we don’t overbuy coffee. That’s how beans can end up languishing on shelves, oxidizing and going stale. We preserve freshness by flushing coffee bags with nitrogen and getting oxygen levels down to 2%, even though 1% is a goal we would like to reach. We use as much repurposed and sustainable material as possible, though the coffee industry as yet doesn’t have materials made from 100% recycled products. As sustainability becomes an industry-wide priority, we are optimistic that will change.
Conscientious coffee harvests, painstaking tests for toxin and antioxidant levels, and the freshest storing and shipping are among our many targets for excellence. But at the heart of it all, it’s our customers who inspire us to do better every day. We take all these steps so that you, can enjoy as many health benefits that a balanced cup of coffee can offer. And that’s why we consider amazing customer service integral to the Purity Standard.
The PDF here is a more detailed depiction of everything Purity Coffee does to maintain a baseline level of quality, and where we still have room to grow.