Did you know? A coffee bean is actually a seed before it is dried, roasted and ground into the coffee we all know and love. If the seed isn’t processed it can be used to grow another coffee tree to make even more coffee!! Though you must take care when growing coffee plants as they require frequent watering and shade and be wary of bright sunlight until they are strong enough to be permanently planted.
The Process Begins
By now the coffee will have been picked (make sure they are ripe!) but the process must begin as quickly as possible to avoid them being spoilt. The process for this can take place in one of two ways;
The Dry Method. This is the traditional tried and tested and is used in many countries where water sources are limited. The freshly picked coffee berries are spread out on a huge surface to dry out in the sun. To make sure they are not ruined, supervision of the berries must take place where they are raked and turned throughout the day and then covered over at night. This process is ongoing and may continue for many weeks until the berries are ready and almost all the moisture is removed.
The Wet Method. This is where the pulp from the coffee berry is completely removed after they are picked with only the skin left on known as the Parchment. The Coffee berries are passed through a machine, divided by weight in a water channel and where rotating drums divide them into various sizes. Once complete the berries are then passed into fermentation tanks where they will remain here from anywhere between 12 & 48 hours to remove unwanted layers from the berry. After this process, the beans are now ready to be dried.
Milling & Roasting
Milling takes place before the beans are exported and they are processed using Hulling machinery to remove unwanted parchment. This is followed up by Grading & Sorting which is fulfilled by size and weight of the beans and where they are looked over for imperfections and colour flaws which is done by a series of screens. From this, defective beans are then removed by machinery or by hand. They are now ready for exportation and roasting can now take place. Roasting Coffee Beans will ultimately change the green coffee into the well renowned, brown Coffee Beans that we know and love. During this process the machine maintains a high temperature whilst the beans are kept moving to prevent them from burning. Once complete the beans are cooled immediately by air or water and are now ready to be used.
Grinding your Coffee
This is one of the most important stages, where the focus is to extract the most flavour by properly grinding your Coffee Beans. The finer the grind of Coffee, the more quickly it should be prepared. This is why you may notice that in Expresso machines, the coffee is a much finer grind.
I think you already know how this takes place.... But remember, store your coffee out of direct sunlight or else you’ll be losing flavour! Enjoy…