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The Life of a Coffee Bean

When you brew a cup of coffee; most of the time- you’ll just add hot water, maybe some milk or sugar and you’re good to go. But before you got that packet of beans or ground coffee- what happened?

The coffee bean in of itself is the seed of the coffee plant. In its natural environment, the coffee bean is found in its green, unroasted form within a fruit- the coffee cherry. Like other stoned fruits, coffee beans would be dispersed by the fruit falling off the plant and decaying; leaving the seed behind.

As coffee is grown on farms and plantations however, the beans are dispersed by coffee farmers ready to grow into the coffee plants. They’re first planted in seed nurseries and given lots of time and attention until they’re ready to be permanently planted (like you might use a small plant pot in the kitchen to start off growing vegetables, before moving them outside.) Coffee plants are usually planted on mountains as coffee grown at higher altitudes is considered to have the most desirable flavours.

Coffee plants can take 3-4 years to produce cherries; so the process is a long one- when the cherries are ripe, they turn a bright red colour- indicating they’re ready to harvest. The cherries are usually harvested by hand- but in countries where coffee is grown on flat land- the process can be mechanised.

The coffee cherries are then processed- to remove the fruit and reveal the coffee bean within. There are several different methods of processing coffee cherries, these are called dry or washed processes (which we will discuss in a further blog post).

Next the beans are milled; there are numerous stages that beans can go through, depending on what process was used, however most beans will be graded and sorted according to their size and weight and any defective beans removed.

These beans will most likely be exported before roasting- to the country in which the finished product will be sold, so the coffee beans can reach the customers as fresh as possible.

Coffee roasting is the process that really unlocks the flavour in the coffee, this is a process which often involves increasing and reducing the temperature, in the roaster. Different roasting times and temperatures will have an affect on the flavour of the bean, so this process is often expertly controlled.

Once the coffee has been cooled; it is ready to be brewed and enjoyed; it can be ground for multiple brewing methods to make the perfect cup of coffee.

Coffee production is a process that spans years, all to get that final product- why not order some from us? Ground to your preference so you can make your ideal cup right in your own home: Get it here...

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