Identifying Beans

04/04/16 09:26:54PM
8 posts

Is it possibly to identify a bean's species based on it's shape and size? I heard that forastero will often have a dimple and look very almond like.

Any tips for identifying a beans species if you had just a grab bag of different types?

Any help would be appreciated!

04/05/16 06:32:35AM
754 posts


Daniel Haran
04/05/16 11:30:15AM
49 posts

I certainly haven't seen as many as Sebastian. There are a few clues that can be suggestive but I haven't found any good indicator. Even smell and taste aren't a sure criteria.

Clay Gordon
04/05/16 12:10:34PM
1,680 posts



Sebastian is right.

There is no way that I know of to know what the variety of cacao is just by looking at it. Size is not an indicator - either very large or very small.

Color doesn't say anything as there are "Trinitario-hybrid" varieties (I am thinking of the acriollados in Nicaragua) that can be 10-30% white or pale (lila).

Aroma and taste are no help either.

That said, if you have been working with the same beans from multiple origins for a long period of time you can learn to distinguish between those reliably. However that won't help you when it comes to other sources.

clay -
04/05/16 01:10:25PM
8 posts

Was coming to a similar conclusion, but couldn't find any good info online. I appreciate the help all!