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I posted a question about coffee growing, and asked what mechanisms affect the flavor of coffee grown at different altitudes (I was thinking of things like temperature, wind, soil differences, etc. might come up).

At least one person suggested that this second part of the question (about what mechanisms cause flavor differences if altitude does indeed affect the final product) was "too scientific" and suggested that it be closed.

Does this mean all growing questions should be off topic? Or all questions related to the chemistry or biology of coffee? Where do we draw the line?

  • I guess I am new to this site so I don't really know if it should be closed ;). But I said that I completely disagree with closing every single growing question. Guess I could reconsider... – Anthony Pham Jan 28 '15 at 1:39
  • @PythonMaster Thanks for bringing it up; we're all new to this site, so this is the sort of thing we have to sort out as a community :) that's exaclty what this beta period is for! – Sam Whited Jan 28 '15 at 1:40
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My personal opinion is that this site should be for coffee growers, roasters, and drinkers alike and that somewhat "scientific" questions should be perfectly on topic as long as they pertain more to coffee than the science.

Questions about the biology of a coffee bean probably belong elsewhere (as they are more about biology and could probably apply to any bean), questions about how some chemical process affects the final flavor of coffee, probably belong here (as it's something a coffee expert could probably answer better than a general chemistry expert).

TL;DR — If a coffee expert could answer it better than a insert-branch-of-science-here expert, it's probably a better fit here.

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    For the record, just because it may be fitting somewhere else, it doesn't mean it has to be off-limits here. – Vogel612 Jan 28 '15 at 9:30
  • I agree, this issue should be handled with tags. "growing", "grinding", and "brewing" as well as maybe "consuming". One of each of those could be added to most tags. Then if someone doesn't care about growing they can just highlight the tag they do care about. – Justin C Jan 28 '15 at 16:19
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    This. If someone that has a lot of knowledge about coffee could answer it, then it's on-topic. Try to help folks avoid the urge to shut things down simply because some other site, somewhere on the Internet might be able to give more details in an answer. – Tim Post Jan 29 '15 at 6:16

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