If you are a genuine coffee lover, we are quite sure that you would love to know how your coffee is made. Although the process depends on whoever or wherever you are buying your coffee, it pretty much boils down to the basics of making your coffee. And today, we are walking you through the whole process.
Of course, obviously, coffee beans came from a coffee tree. Seeds of coffee are generally and should be planted in a large area of land in shaded nurseries. The seedlings are then watered frequently like any other crops, and it should be shaded from harsh sunlight until they are ready to be carefully planted. Planting coffee beans usually take place during the wet season this is because the soil has extra moist that will hold the roots firmly.
It should take approximately 3 to 4 years for the coffee trees to bear fruit but this depends on the variety of coffee seed that is planted. Coffee cherry is what we call the product of the coffee trees, and they are noted to be turning bright red when they are ripe and ready for harvest. There is only one major harvesting season per year, but in Colombia, they do it twice a year. Most of the coffee farmers harvest the fruits by hand, and it could involve intensive and arduous labor. In a country like Brazil, they can do it through the machine because their landscape is flat and their coffee fields are massive.
There also two types of harvesting used by farmers: the strip picked where all cherries are harvested from the branch one by one, and the selective picked wherein only the bright red or the ripe ones will be harvested, and it is done manually. A quick picker could average from 100 to 200 pounds of coffee cherries per day which can produce 20 to 40 pounds of coffee beans.
Processing the Cherries
There are two primary methods for preparing the fruits: the dry process is an old and traditional method involving spreading out the cherries on a large surface to dry it out using the direct heat from the sun. They are turned everyone in a while throughout the day, and they are covered at night to prevent them from getting wet from a sudden rain.
Meanwhile, the wet method involves removal of pulp from the coffee cherry so that the bean can be dried. The first step is putting the cherries through a pulping machine and then passing them through the water channels. Ripe seeds float because they are lighter while ripe beans remain at the bottom. They will be then passed through a series of separation by sizes. They are then brought to water-filled fermentation tanks and finally the fermentation.
Drying the Beans
This is only applicable if the beans are processed using the wet method. These seeds can be spread out in a large drying table or floor, or they can also be dried using machine technologies.
Milling the Beans
Hulling Machinery takes the parchment layer from the wet processed coffee. The goal is to remove the entire dried husk of the cherries. Next is polishing which can be an optional process; this is where any remaining dried skin is being removed by a machine. Grading and sorting is a review process wherein the cherries are sorted by size and weight – the color flaws and imperfections are also observed.
Exporting the Beans
After the whole process, the beans are now called green coffee and are now ready for export. They are loaded onto ships either in a shipping container or bulk bags.
The Final Steps
Only four final steps are remaining to get your coffee in your cup: coffee tasting, roasting the coffee, grinding the coffee and finally brewing the coffee. Coffee tasting involves people who will note the beans’ overall quality – flavor, color, size, and visual quality. Roasting the coffee involves the transformation of green coffee into what we all know the brown coffee beans. Roasting machines maintain 550 degrees Fahrenheit temperature and the beans should constantly be moving the entire process. Next, is grinding, which aims to get fullest flavors of the coffee beans. Finally, your coffee is ready for brewing and should soon get in your cup.
Awesome, isn’t? Let us know what you think!