- Laboratory layout and design
- Sourcing of testing equipment appropriate for coffee
- Development of lab standards and procedures
Most testing done in coffee is sensory analysis rather than instrumental analysis. Proper design of space is important in both instances, however.
Sensory labs must be free of sensory distractions, such as noise or interfering aromas. They should allow uninterrupted concentration and have necessary facilities for sample preparation and cleanup.
Instrumental analyses each have their own parameters. Electrical service of a specific type is often necessary and there must be adequate space for the technicians to prepare samples. Computers for entry of results can be more efficient and most instruments can output results directly into a computer, saving further time.
A laboratory is any space where one wants to make an objective determination or do research. For adequate quality control or product development, one should have a lab that has testing equipment of adequate accuracy and able to handle the amount of testing required. Sensory laboratories have special requirements. Songer wrote a chapter on lab design for the book, “Specialty Coffee: Managing Quality” edited by Thomas Oberthür, available at http://seap.ipni.net/articles/SEAP0102-EN.
Songer and Associates can assist in laboratory design and choosing appropriate testing equipment.