Coffee goes through various stages before it reaches the supermarket shelves in a beautiful package. How are coffee beans processed?
The first step in coffee processing is to collect fruit from the bushes that are the source of coffee. This happens when cherries or berries have a reddish or yellowish tinge and can be done in three ways:
Manual: Select only berries to berries, ripe fruits.
Shaving or de-stemming: This method is usually used when most cherries are ripe. Cleaning the coffee tree branches removes both ripe and green fruits that have fallen to the ground or canvas. Next, the fallen impurities and green grains are separated by a vent to create a more sour taste.
Mechanics: This is the most common method used by large coffee growers and consists of removing berries from the tree using a large machine. Some of these machines vibrate the trunk and drop the fruit to the ground. Others include a brush that extracts nuts. This is the least selective method of all.
Fruit Pulping At the same time as the berries are harvested, the harvest residue is removed and the layers around the beans are removed to give green coffee (a term used to describe coffee after processing and before roasting). .. .. This process is called pulping.
There are several ways to perform this part of the coffee process, and the cost and quality of coffee will vary depending on the method used.
This is the oldest and simplest process and requires few machines.
90% of the Arabica coffee produced in Brazil, used in some Arabica coffees in India and Ecuador, and most coffees in Haiti, Paraguay and Ethiopia. Almost all Robusta coffees are processed this way, but they are not very practical in areas where the humidity is too high or where it rains frequently during harvesting. The cafe processed in this way has a low acidity and an exotic taste. It is also common to find strong wine and fruit aromas. The
drying method consists of the following steps.
Classification and washing: At this stage of coffee processing, both green and overripe or damaged fruits are sorted. Impurities (dirt, branches, leaves, etc.) are removed by sieving or flotation.
Drying: Coffee berries are dried evenly and exposed to the sun to reach a maximum final moisture of 12.5%, scraped or spun by hand. This stage usually takes about four weeks, but some large coffee plantations use dryers to speed up the process. Drying is the most important step in the process as it affects the final properties of green coffee. Coffee that is too dry is characterized by the fact that the beans are brittle and therefore defective. Over-moist coffee, on the other hand, tends to deteriorate rapidly due to fungi and bacteria.
Peel: Dried berries or cherries are loosely stored in special silos until they arrive at the factory. Once there, the peeler removes all outer casings from the dried cherries, then they are separated, sorted and packed in bags.
This approach requires the use of special equipment and large amounts of water. Coffee obtained this way is considered to be of higher quality and is usually more expensive.
Commonly used for all arabica coffee, but different from those produced in Brazil or in the countries of origin of this variety using the wet technology described above. It is rarely used for Lobasta.
Washed coffee is characterized by a fruity, floral aroma and a stronger acidity. The
wet technique is performed as follows:
Washing and selection: First, cherries are washed in a tank filled with running water, ripe cherries are separated from those that are not, and large cherries are sifted.
Peeling: This process is the main difference between one method and another. In a wet way, melting is done by a tool that pushes the fruit into a movable and fixed plate that is tuned to prevent damage to the grain. One has berry peel and pulp, and the other has parchment-covered grain. It should be peeled immediately after harvest to prevent the fruit from deteriorating and affecting the quality of the grain.
Sifting: Crushed grains pass through a vibrating sieve that separates them from unground berries, imperfectly shaped berries, and large pieces of pulp that may have adhered.
Washing and Separation: The separated pulp particles pass through a channel where they are washed with water and separated again by flotation.
Fermentation: Coffee beans are stored for 2436 hours in a container where the parchment that covers the coffee beans decomposes under the influence of natural enzymes and is carried away by water. If this stage of coffee processing is not carefully monitored, it can have a bitter and unwanted taste.
Wash: Again in the tank or special washing machine.
Drying: This process aims to keep the coffee at a maximum humidity of 12.5% and can be done in the sun or using a mechanical dryer. It is important to be careful that it is sufficiently dry. Otherwise, the quality of the coffee will be compromised.
Coffee is categorized by size and defect number and packed for ease of storage and transportation, but containers are becoming more common.
Coffee roasting is the stage where coffee beans are made.