Coffee is one the favorite beverages around the world, its unique strong flavor makes it the perfect complement for every home’s mornings. However, despite its popularity not many people know the whole coffe production process from coffee beans to the cup.
From coffee beans to your cup: an interesting journey
Coffee beans come from seeds planted in shaded beds, were they need to be under specific conditions such as constant watering and little sunlight. Once they sprout they are moved to individual pots.
Usually, the harvest occurs only one a year, except from countries where the weather conditions favor the harvest, and it’s possible to have a second one. Besides, coffee beans taken from the second harvest tend to have stronger flavor.
Once the cherries are collected they are processed following one of two methods; dry method used in farms with limited resources. The cherries are spread out to dry under the sun, this process can take several weeks until the moisture is under 11%.
With the wet method the cherries go through a pulping machine that separates the beans from the pulp. Then, they are separated according to their weigh. Finally, they are transported to fermentation tanks for 12-48 hours.
Once the coffee beans have processed and dried, they go through the milling process in a hulling machine to separate to exocarp from the endocarp. Then, they are graded and sorted according to their size and weight.
During this step, all beans are checked for imperfections, removing those that are defective. In most countries, this process is done by hand and machinery to ensure the highest quality in all beans.
Tasting is probably one of the most exciting stages of the process, during the packing stage, coffee beans are tasted to check their quality and flavor. This part is called cupping and it takes place in a special room designed for it.
Tasters are called cuppers and they evaluate the appearance, flavor, acidity and overall sensation. Cuppers slurp a spoon of the coffee to spray it in all the taste buds.
This process is the one that shapes the green beans into the aromatic brown beans we know. The roasting machine burns them, producing the flavor and aroma we have come to love and enjoy so much. Immediately after roasting, the beans are cooled using water or air.
Once the coffee beans are roasted, they are grinded to different degrees, the thicker the grind the longer the brewing process can take. For instance, coffee ground for espresso machines are finer since they go through a faster brewing process.
Finally, ground coffee is packaged and sold to the public, ready to be brewed at home or in coffee shops following a variety of methods depending on the type of coffee you are looking for; espresso, American, etc.
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