How is Coffee Made? დ
How is Coffee Made?
Do you love your cup of coffee first thing in the morning? The more you would learn about the process it takes to bring your first cup of coffee, the more you would wonder about this magical beverage and its potential benefits. While most people imagine rich coffee being produced from beans that grow on plants, what they fail to understand is that coffee does not start in the form of a bean at all. A coffee bean can be regarded as a seed that is known to arise from specific forms of berries. Therefore, it can be said that coffee beans are actually derived from a fruit.
Coffee berries are known to contain beans that are actually split into two parts. However, it is observed that in 5 percent of the overall beans that are harvested, it could occur that a bean is not able to be split. This type of coffee beans is quite popular and referred to as “Peaberry.” This is because it resembles the shape of a pea.
As far as the total duration of the entire product process of coffee is concerned, a coffee plant is known to take around 5 years from its plantation to produce the coffee seeds or fruit. Moreover, it is also important to note that coffee fruit cannot be produced in any environment or weather condition out there. If you wish to ensure a good, healthy harvest, the coffee trees are required to be paid great attention with special care of the soil as well. As such, this factor restricts the areas in which coffee is grown. The climatic conditions wherein trees are known to grow in warm, tropical climate or the equatorial or subtropical regions –like the Caribbean, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and others, are considered as ideal.
An Insight into the Step-by-Step Process of Producing Coffee
The next time you are sipping your favorite beverage, spare some thought for the people involved in the steps for bringing coffee right into your mug. Here are some:
#Planting the Seeds
Growing coffee is not a simple process. It is not as easy as throwing some seeds on the ground and the plant start growing out of the same.
The coffee’s journey from its seed to your cup is not even known to start in the coffee fields wherein the coffee plants would grow eventually. Once the coffee seeds are harvested, there are some green coffee beans that are kept aside to be used as seeds for the next set of coffee trees.
The seeds are known to spend the 1st year being planted in a nursery. Here, the trees or saplings are nurtured carefully and tended as per the plant’s requirements. Moreover, they are properly watered as well as sheltered from direct sunlight.
Once the saplings have grown to around 18-24 inches in size, they become tough enough to withstand the full intensity of direct sunlight. Then, they are removed from the nursery and get planted into the fields directly.
It is known to take around 4-5 years for the coffee tree to start harvesting its fruits –also referred to as cherries. This is due to the overall shape and color of the coffee fruit. Once the same becomes ripe, these berries tend to have a deep, bright red-colored skin covering a fleshy pulp inside along with the two tiny coffee beans that are encased in the center with a protective skin.
#Harvesting & Picking
Unlike most other cash crops, coffee is usually grown into small patches of land by farmers. As far as harvesting is concerned, coffee is harvested as a community affair and usually involves the entire family or even other farmers to get aid with the picking process. This is because once the berries start getting ripe, they are known to happen in stages. Therefore, it is not possible for an individual to collect the ripen berries all at once.
#Sorting & Selecting
What the entire world is after are two beans at the center of the coffee fruit. Towards ensuring that the best beans only tend to pass into the next series of steps, the coffee beans are initially sorted. There are some typical ways to achieve the sorting process.
The simplest way of sorting the coffee beans is through hands involving the winnowing of beans or making use of a large sieve for removing stones, debris, twigs, and others.
To ensure that only the best ripe coffee beans enter the next stage of coffee processing, the coffee processor might also be used for sorting with the help of water immersion. In this process, the cherry beans are thrown into a water tank. As such, the density differences between the ripe & unripe berries make it simpler for the extractors to sort the coffee beans.
#Pulping the Berries
The pulping process is known to involve the task of removing the skin of the fruit along with the pulp that is known to surround the coffee beans.
The task of depulping is carried out only when the coffee beans are meant to undergo the semi-washed or wet processing. Within a span of 24 hours after the cherries have been picked and sorted, the coffee fruits are placed into a depulping machine that helps in removing the skin & most of the pulp. The pulp and skin usually get discarded in the form of “zero waste” or as utilized as compost. Most of the coffee producers are also known to use the byproducts to make some other items or products.
During coffee production, the fermentation process can be regarded as the microbial reaction due to yeast or bacteria that help in breaking down the sugars present in the fruit to generate acids.
The given acids that are produced are responsible for adding great complexity and strength to your cup of coffee. The harvested cherries can be processed in three unique ways during the fermentation process. Every process of fermentation tends to have its own set of pros & cons –leading to a significant effect on the final taste of coffee.
- Wet Processing or Low Fermentation: While this is more a modern process, it is still known to make use of a lot of water. In the given fermentation process, the coffee beans are sorted in order of size. Then, they are being thrown directly into the respective fermentation tank.
- Semi-washed or Medium Fermentation: For the given process, the skin of the coffee beans is removed during the entire pulping process. However, rather than completely removing the mucilage –like in the wet process, the sticky fleshy layer is allowed to be left around the coffee beans. This ensures that the fermentation process can continue throughout the drying process. This is referred to as Pulped Natural or Honey coffee.
- Dry Process or High Fermentation: This turns out to be the oldest fermentation process for coffee beans –especially popular in countries wherein water is scarce. There is no pulping process of the coffee beans. The beans are just evenly spread out on a larger surface for fermenting out in the sun.
Irrespective of the fermentation process that is being utilized, the beans are required to be dried perfectly until just 11 percent of moisture is left in the beans. The beans undergo the process of continuous raking across the entire day to ensure that they are dried evenly. It is also done to ensure that there is no formation of bacteria or mold in the coffee beans.
It is usually known to take around 2 to 4 weeks until the coffee beans achieve the dryness level featuring a moisture level of around 11-12 percent.
Once the coffee beans are dried properly, you are left with parchment coffee featuring the parchment around the beans. In the given form, the coffee can be stored effectively for several months at a stretch –sometimes, even years. This would ultimately depend on the overall humidity and temperature.
It is referred to as the final process involving the coffee beans out in the open by removing the other layers of the bean. There are two important steps involved in the milling process:
- Hulling: Here, the beans get thrown into a machine for milling for removing the parchment covering along with the skin layer.
- Polishing: There are many consumers who look forward to ensuring a proper shine in the respective coffee beans. Then, the option and final stage of polishing is carried out. In this process, all the skin from the coffee beans is removed. Once the process of hulling is completed, you are left with little pieces of dried out coffee beans –light to dark brown in color.
#Grading or Cupping
Before sending the coffee beans for roasting, the entire unit is graded properly. The quality of the coffee beans is judged upon based on the overall appearance of the beans.
By ccaffeinated ღ