The QA department plays a vital role in the entire production chain. The purchase of raw materials is monitored with strict quality standards for each type of coffee and evaluated for its characteristics, literally certifying each bean, from the first to the last. The QA team also selects the coffees according to Cothas pre-set high specifications. On arrival at the plant, every stage of the process-handling, storage, dosing of the blends and roasting is controlled by a centralised processing system.
Mixing, roasting and grinding are at the core of the production process, as these fundamental phases make a coffee unique. This is when the QA department constantly monitors the process. The creation of the coffee blends is controlled by the QA team, with documented processes and a panel of tasters who sample each blend in order to guarantee that same flavour, mouth feel and body for each blend is consistent cup after cup.
The roasters are all convection machines, which make the hot air roasting process more uniform and delicate, guaranteeing the correct level of roasting for each blend. A pilot roasting system carries out a short test cycle, roasting a small quantity of coffee before the full-scale production is commenced. The grinding process, which differs depending on the intended use of each blend for in-home filter coffee, blends for commercial establishments/hotels and for the bulk coffee brewers is also managed automatically by the computer systems and controlled by the QA department.
The ground coffee is then kept in atmosphere controlled silos to protect against oxidants (light, oxygen, heat, and moisture), and is quickly sent to the packaging stage. The shapes of the packages and the materials used are essential to guarantee the optimal conservation of the blends, and the QA department is constantly looking for more effective solutions.
The experts in the QA department travel to the local estates to taste the green coffee so that they can select the best qualities to use in Cothas Coffee blends. The coffees selected then move on to the blending stage: a real art which is at the heart and soul of the company since 1949. The blends are secret recipes, prepared with care, which makes Cothas Coffee unique and recognisable. All Cothas Coffee Co. products for the home, commercial or for coffee brewing machines are very specific blends. The best blends include up to five or six different types of coffee from different coffee estates of India, with a mix of Arabica and Robusta. The former is sweet and fragrant; the latter is full-bodied and intense.
The flavour of the blend also changes depending on the provenance of the various coffees: a prevalence of Kodagu origins will give a full, chocolaty flavour, while Chikmagalur origins yield more aromatic and delicate coffee blends. The QA team ensures 100% compliance in differentiating the various estates’ coffees so that they are eventually blended for specific product needs.