Where do the coffee beans come from? Coffee ranges from plants to a cup of coffee to enjoy at home, in the bar, or in the office. An important part of this process takes place in the growing area, which determines the ultimate quality of coffee. Therefore, we will learn a little more about the origin of coffee and the further process leading up to the roasting of grains.
Coffee is currently grown in many parts of the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, the United States and Asia. It is cultivated in the highlands, above 800 meters above sea level, or in the lowlands, depending on the type of coffee (Arabic or durable).
Coffee plantations Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Honduras and India are the seven most important countries of origin for coffee. Over 80% of the world’s production is concentrated in these countries.
The coffee tree is a tree that can grow up to 10 meters in height, but must not grow more than 3 meters for cultivation to promote harvesting. Coffee trees bloom and bear fruit after 3-4 years. The flowers are white or slightly pink with a jasmine scent.
There are already many varieties of the same variety that affect the quality of coffee from plantations. Average temperature, duration of sunshine, distribution of rainfall, and height of plantations relative to the sea have important implications. Like the
vineyard, the land (the terroir of wine) determines the quality of many of the fruits. Generally, coffee trees that are planted in the highlands, rain regularly and have mild temperatures produce high quality fruits. In any case, the conditions for Arabic and robust types are quite different. Coffee beans are found in fruits and are coated with sweet pulp.
Coffee berries, also known as coffee cherries, are small, round and turn deep red when ripe. This fruit contains coffee beans and seeds.
Coffee cherries are made up of several parts: fur or pericarp. It is green until maturity and changes color to red or orange.
Flesh or pericarp. This pulp is very rich in sugar and is important for the fermentation process that coffee undergoes.
seeds or grains. Each fruit usually has two seeds. Each of them is wrapped in a very thin layer of cuticle called parchment. There are
coffee beans in the fruit, wrapped in sweet pulp.
Collected manually or mechanically, depending on the origin of the coffee, the type and type of plantation. By collecting by hand, you can select the fruits that are in the ripening stage and are most suitable for good quality. It is hand-collected in highland plantations and seeks quality and excellence. Coffee production on a coffee plantation varies greatly depending on the variety and growing conditions, but one hectare can collect about 800 kg of coffee annually. Once you have collected coffee cherries, there are two ways to prepare for roasting green coffee beans.
This is an easy method as it does not require a large infrastructure. When the cherries are collected, they are spread on the surface and dried (in the sun or in a dryer). This process takes several weeks for the fruit to set.
Next, the grain is separated from the rest of the fruit and parchment to make a clean grain. This process is known as threshing. The
dry method is a traditional method and is still practiced today in areas such as Ethiopia where coffee was discovered. Inconsistent drying can lead to an unpleasant scent. Making coffee with a siphon (Belgium or Japanese) is a hassle, coffee makers are fragile and require maintenance. Therefore, it is almost exclusively used in specialty coffee shops where you can try delicious siphon coffee. It has a slightly bitter taste, but it is very clean, soft and concentrated.
The cherry is passed through water to separate the ripe fruit from the broken leaves, twigs and cherries. The skin is then removed and the interior (coffee beans and pulp) is fermented in a large tank for 12-36 hours. This fermentation can be done dry or in water, which makes it easier to remove pulp and also brings the flavor and nuances of coffee.
The next step is to thoroughly wash the dry grains. After drying, the beans retain the parchment that was removed during threshing.
This process requires more machines, but it guarantees the uniform quality of coffee beans and is currently the most widely used.
At the end of the process, the coffee beans are cleaned and ready for roasting. It’s a long way from a coffee plantation to ready-to-eat seeds. An exciting process that makes a difference and evaluates the origin of coffee.