For many years, many terms regarding coffee and coffee production have been coined such as microlot and nanolot to fulfill the expectations of the coffee industry and coffee lovers. As the title describes, in this article, we will talk about microlot and nanolot.
As the number of people who use the term microlot or nanolot increases, a mutually agreed definition of these terms becomes mandatory day by day. In this article, we will try to erase some confusion in everyone’s head by trying to give an exact definition of these terms. However, don’t forget that these terms can mean different things to farmers, buyers, and roasters.
What is Microlot Coffee?
Microlot coffee has become popular recently among third-wave coffee producers and small coffee producers. Since microlot coffee means producing high-quality coffee and highlights the importance of growing coffee, using the term microlot coffee has become more popular day by day.
As a result of the increasing number of consumers who are seeking some high-quality coffee, the number of producers that use micro lot labels has increased as well. With the increasing number of coffee geeks, the importance of altitude, climate, and process methods become more vital for producers.
To describe microlot coffee, we can give a basic example to you. One of the best ways to explain what is microlot coffee is the apple orchard analogy.
Imagine you have a big apple orchard that contains many apple trees. You are watering and growing them for a while. While everything was great, you noticed something even great, one spot of your orchard is generating apples that are better than others. They are so great that you haven’t seen an apple that great before. Therefore, you decide to treat them differently by making everything flawless for them. You fence them, give them everything they need, and make them even better. When it’s time to harvest, you harvest them separately from other ordinary apples and sell them to different buyers who are looking for special apples like these. Thanks to these apples, you earn a lot of money.
The analogy we described above is the same as microlot coffees. They are grown in very small areas while yielding only a small amount of coffee. With these special growing methods and treatments, their cupping score is above 85 which draws attention and makes it more unique than other coffees. Thus, people who look for high-quality coffee or microlot coffee roasters have to pay more money for these extraordinary coffee beans.
What Makes Microlot Coffee Special?
Of course, you may have understood why it is so popular, but we decided that we should highlight the things that make microlot coffee special more.
The answer to this question is: these coffee beans are recherche. People who look for extraordinary or unique coffee beans pay a lot of money for these beans and this makes these coffee beans more popular and expensive day by day. For these reasons, people who ask “is microlot coffee better?” will get their answer immediately after they try these amazing beans.
What Does Microlot Mean for a Farmer?
If you think of a farmer who is responsible for a small area, he or she can easily fence some area of the farm and can pay extreme attention to his or her coffees. After growing, watering, and harvesting these phenomenal coffees, a farmer can call these microtonal. After getting high cupping scores, a farmer can sell them to coffee buyers who are looking for microlot coffees.
What Does Microlot Mean for a Buyer?
For the buyers or coffee geeks, though the term microlot means almost the same thing as other people, some differences may arise. For a buyer, microlot means traceability besides high-quality and exceptional coffee. This means tracing the coffee back to the farm it grows is very important to buyers. The reason behind this need for traceability features of microlot coffee is highly due to the increasing number of customers who are looking for sustainability, traceability, or ethical trading of coffee beans.
What Does Microlot Mean for a Roaster?
When it comes to the definition of microlot coffee for roasters, we can say that it can vary from roaster to roaster. For roasters, a microlot coffee can mean a mixture of the meanings that we have given above. However, for some roasters, it can mean a large lot of coffee that has been split into smaller lots.
Should We Support Microlot Coffee?
Although it can seem that microlot has become a marketing tool in the coffee industry and for many coffee roasters, we think that we should always appreciate good coffee. While this high cost of microlot coffee can make some people label their coffee as microlot even if it is not, it can also lead some farmers to do their best to produce their best coffees. Hence, the idea of the growing number of quality coffee beans makes us enthusiastic about this coffee wave called microlot. Why shouldn’t we support it? Although it is a little bit risky to buy some coffee beans that are not microlot, if we support the right producers, we can get what we want.
What Is Nanolot Coffee?
If you heard microlot coffee, you probably heard nanolot coffee too. Various needs in the coffee industry and production created some terms including nanolot coffee. In this part of the article, we will try to give you everything you need to know about nanolot coffee beans.
To give a brief explanation about nanolot coffee, as you can understand from the name, nanolot means even a smaller area where the coffee grows. If you remember the apple analogy that we explained above, we can say the same things for this coffee wave too. However, when it comes to what is nanolot coffee, we can say that they are even better than microlot coffee with a cupping score above 92. That is a very high score compared to regular coffee beans and blends.
However, this high score of nanolot coffee brings some difficulties because it needs to be perfect and flawless. If you ask us the question “is nanolot coffee better than other coffees?”, our answer is yes. It is better than regular coffee beans. We always appreciate coffee beans that are raised with supreme care and love.
What Makes Smaller Farming Better?
So far, we have talked about what is nanolot and microlot coffee and what makes them special, but we haven’t talked that much about farms. In this part of the article, we will try to give you some information about farming in smaller areas while giving you some information about traceability, distinctiveness, quality, and relationships.
One of the most important things to coffee lovers when they select their coffee is the origin of the coffee and where it comes from. Nobody wants to buy a coffee that they don’t know where it comes from. For this reason, it is important to know the origins of the coffee, certificates of the coffee, and the name of the farm it came from. With smaller lots, traceability becomes much easier. Almost everybody can trace their coffee back to where is it grown thanks to the smaller farming.
Another important thing for coffee lovers when they buy a coffee is the distinctiveness of this coffee. Thanks to the smaller farming, coffee beans that are raised with great interest make them unique whether they are good or bad.
Of course, we don’t need to say that the quality of the coffee is important for coffee lovers. In smaller farming, growing beans with high care make their quality better than ordinary coffee beans. With smaller farming, it is really easy to improve the quality of the coffee beans due to the small farming area.
In the coffee industry, it is really important to form some relations with the people you like. For example, if you like someone’s coffee, you have to form some relationships with them to buy their coffees whenever you want. With small farming, it is a lot easier to form relationships with the people that make good coffee. In this way, you can give some feedback, make some requests, or work together with them.
As we said earlier, in this article, we tried to explain everything we know about microlot and nanolot coffees. In conclusion, we definitely suggest you try them because they are probably the best coffee that you will taste thanks to the smaller farming techniques and the philosophy behind microlot and nanolot coffee. Now that you have learned almost everything you needed to know about microlot and nanolot coffee beans, you are ready to find a producer that produces these coffees.
My world consists of guitar, music, and coffee. I spent years preparing coffees at home and learning more about coffee. As a result of this, I have learned so much about coffee, and in Coffee Magazine, I try my best to share my knowledge about coffee and its culture. Click here for detailed information about me.