Every morning you start your day with a sip of coffee – fresh, aromatic, and rich in taste and texture! But have you ever wondered what preceded the production of coffee and the processing of the coffee plant before it ended up in your cup?
The coffee you enjoy every day begins its journey as a flower. The red fruit that grows on the trees of coffee, also called “coffee cherry” due to its morphology, contains two grains, which after many steps will finally give us the intense aroma and characteristic taste of coffee that you know and love.
Let’s take a closer look at the various stages of the “life” of coffee from the tree to consumption.
The coffee tree
The cultivation of brown trees begins with planting seeds or branches in flower beds with enough shading. In the first stage of its life, the coffee plant needs frequent watering and protection from sunlight. When the trees are mature enough, they are transplanted permanently. This process is usually done during the rainy months, so that thanks to the soil moisture, the roots of the trees grow steadily, which helps in the production of coffee.
As we mentioned in a previous article, the natural environment in which the trees will be planted will significantly determine the final result. The soil, the altitude, the frequency of rainfall, the temperature, and the sun contribute to the quality of each fruit.
After 3-4 years, depending on the variety, the first coffee cherries will appear on the trees. When the fruits ripen, they will be ready for the next stage of coffee production, their harvest is most often carried out manually or mechanically; for example, in Brazil, the huge volume of production demands the mechanization the process.
The process of collecting the fruit is done in two ways: either by total stripping of the tree or by a selective collection of only the ripe fruits. The first is clearly a faster method, but it does cause an individual or even total destruction of the plant. In contrast, the second method, although much more time consuming, protects plants, and offers a homogeneous collection of fruits. And this method, however, has its drawbacks, as it requires difficult manual labor. In particular, workers must inspect and collect the ripe fruit of the trees every 8-10 days, making the process more expensive. For this reason, it is only used to harvest the finest Arabica varieties.
Coffee fruit processing
Fruit processing begins as soon as possible after harvest. Depending on the location and available resources, the first step in coffee processing is done in one of two ways: the wet or dry method. The dry method is common in countries where access to water is limited. It is simpler and more economical, as the fruits are spread evenly in the sun for 8-10 days until dry. The wet method is the most common and most complex, as it consists of many steps. In short, it first involves soaking the fruit so that the unripe and / or damaged ones float in the water. Then, the peel is mechanically removed and the grains remain in special tanks for 1-2 days where they are subjected to microbial fermentation.
Drying of coffee beans
In the case of the wet method, the coffee beans must be dried so that their humidity does not exceed 11%. This is done either by leaving them in the sun or using special air machines.
Decoction of coffee
The processing of coffee beans continues with peeling. The dried bark is removed mechanically. The process is completed by polishing the seeds to remove anything that may be left on them.
Export and Production of coffee
Before taking their final shape, the green coffee beans are then placed in 60-70 kg bags in which they travel from Central and South America, Asia and Africa to their final destination.
Quality control and coffee testing
Just as wine has special testers, so does the coffee. Its testers analyze the quality, taste, and appearance of coffee beans. Having an overall picture of each variety of coffee, they are able to distinguish its special characteristics and defects, or even determine the appropriate impurities that must be made for the ideal blend.
Roasting is the final stage before the coffee passes in the form of dark aromatic grains that you find in coffee drinking. Roasting significantly affects the taste, aroma, and even the color of the coffee that will reach your cup, so it is probably the most critical stage. A very important stage for coffee production!
In our coffee shop, we have turned coffee roasting into art. For over 100 years, our coffees have been roasted with knowledge and passion in our traditional roaster, without the addition of preservatives or other chemicals, offering you the enjoyment, benefits and beneficial properties of good coffee.
The “secret” of proper grinding is not to lose the aromas and flavor of the coffee beans until they reach your cup. In case you choose to buy uncut coffee and grind it in a grinder in your home, it is good to know that depending on the type and method of preparation of coffee will depend on the degree of grinding. The finer your coffee, the less time it will take to prepare it. For example, it takes about 25 seconds to make an espresso, which is very finely chopped. This completes the coffee production!
To keep the coffee fresh as long as possible after grinding, be sure to store it in airtight containers away from heat, humidity, and sunlight. A good tip is to grind as much coffee as you will consume in a week so that you always enjoy fresh coffee while maintaining all its aromas and special taste.