How are coffee beans made?
One of the world's most beloved drinks is coffee. Part of its popularity has been due to the fact that coffee has a higher content of caffeine than other drinks, such as tea and cocoa, created naturally. We'll look at the coffee production process from the seed to your cup in this post.
Currently, coffee beans are seeds. It is only after they have been dried, roasted and ground that the humble zip can be brewed using them.
They will germinate and grow into coffee plants if unprocessed coffee seeds are planted. Normally, the seeds are planted in large shaded beds. The young seedlings are left to grow after sprouting for a few days before they are transferred to individual pots with carefully designed soils for optimal growth. The potted seedlings are shaded by the waters and the scorching sun Depending on the specific variety, it takes approximately 3-4 years for newly planted coffee bushes to bear fruit. The fruit, commonly termed cherries, depending on the degree of ripeness, turn from green to bright or dark red – the unripe ones being green in colour. Cherries ripen faster under lower altitudes and higher temperatures. Coffee can be hand harvested by people to ensure that only the ripe cherries are picked. Hand-picking is a hard and labour intensive process where people need to carefully check cherries for ripeness and, naturally, it involves paid labour. Cherries mature at different periods and up to three pickings are needed to clear a farm. In countries such as Brazil where land is flat and coffee is grown on large farms, cherries are machine harvested. Whether by machines or humans, coffee is always harvested by one of the following two methods:
Strip picking- The cherries are removed, either by hand or by machine, from the branch
Selective picking-The red cherries are selected and left to ripen the green ones.
Picking is performed at intervals of 10 days.
Since this process is labour intensive, it is primarily used to harvest Arabica coffee of high quality. There is one big harvest season each year in most areas.
However there are two harvesting seasons in many countries such
as Kenya and Colombia; a primary crown and a secondary crown.
After harvesting, cherries are processed as soon as possible to avoid spoilage. Depending on available resources and location, one of the following two methods is used.
Process for In regions where water is scarce, this is the ancient method of processing cherries and is still common. This technique is regarded as 'unwashed' or 'natural' processing as well. The dry approach is used by most individuals who own small-scale farms. Spread out on a wide surface, the fresh cherries are
left to dry in the sun for 15 to 20 days. Slightly raised from the ground, they are normally placed on drying beds to ensure air circulation around the berries.
To prevent fermentation and to ensure that they dry uniformly, they are rotated and raked periodically during the day. To prevent them from consuming moisture,the berries are then covered at night. The drying process will take several weeks for each individual picking run, depending primarily on the weather conditions, until picked cherries have a moisture content of less than 11 per cent . The outer layer will have dried up and turned black and brittle at this point. Drying makes the outer skin relatively easy to remove.
The method of the wet
This technique is a relatively new way for coffee cherries to remove the skin.
It is called 'wet' because water is used both to move the coffee fruit through the process and to extract the beans. Just as in the first method, the wet method
includes cleaning the cherries and removing unripe and overripe cherries. The cherries are then put through a pulping machine that without destroying the beans, squeezes the skin out. The fact that coffee beans are relatively tough makes this possible. If there are still some berries left with the pulp on, they are not sufficiently ripe.
Such beans are sorted by hand and are used to produce coffee of lower quality. Coffee pulping leaves mucilage, which is then placed in large tanks to help get rid of the sticky substance with enzymes being added. In order to ensure that all the mucilage is dissolved, beans are put in large tanks and stirred often. The whole operation takes approximately 24 hours. To ensure that beans are left with the flavour that was developed prior to this processing, it is important to remove all the mucilage. The beans are washed repeatedly after they have dissolved to remove any leftover stickiness. For a day or two, the naked coffee beans are then dried in the sun. It is noteworthy that it is also possible to mechanise drying. The coffee beans leave the processing area at this point and are sorted into various grades. They call the dry beans parchment coffee.
Milling process for coffee
The dried coffee beans are processed as follows before being taken to the market: Hulling: Hulling parchment coffee involves the removal of the dried husk; exocarp, mesocarp, and endocarp. Polishing: An optional step which is skipped by some millers is coffee polishing. This includes getting rid of any skin of slivers that may have found its way through hulling. It is considered that polished beans
are of higher quality than unpolished ones.
There is little difference, however in terms of content. Grading: Based on size and weight, the beans are then sorted and graded. The polished beans are also checked for inconsistencies in colour and other defects in the use of human hands to remove any defective beans. The process is laborious and can take several hours to complete. Using an air jet to separate the light from the heavy beans, a better technique is to pneumatically sort them. By putting them through a series of screens with holes that allow only a certain size of beans to pass through the beans are sized. Sizing takes place on a one to ten scale. Only the finest beans are packaged at the end of the milling process for sale in the high-end markets. The lowerquality beans are not discarded in some countries; they
are instead taken for processing and sold as low-quality coffee.
Process of tasting coffee
In addition, the packed coffee is tasted repeatedly to verify and define its taste and quality. The method is referred to as capping and it takes place in a special room designed to improve it. Tasting allows individuals to tell where the coffee comes from. You should not be intimidated by the process; anyone can take part in it. It includes gurgling coffee to the back of your mouth and recognising what flavour it is. The method is quite similar to an event for wine tasting. Some of the terms being used by tasters are:
Acidity: The level of acidity of coffee is described by acidity. Coffee with high acidity is thought to be of a higher quality. Sour coffee is generally called low acidity coffee
Other terms used to characterise coffee are the body and aftertaste. The 'body' refers to how the coffee feels in the mouth. It may feel heavy or extremely light, for example. To some extent, this quality is constant and does not rely on individual tastes.