The way of coffee- from the tree to your cup
Coffee takes a very long and exciting way by the time lands in our cup. It also has to fight the hardships of weather.
Coffee needs a wealthy of care , a lots of people working on we could get a real flavor buzz. Let me show you how is this journey and what it depends on we can enjoy every morning.
The coffee plant and the cherry
The coffee beans what we use for making delicious drink the seed of coffee cherry. When it is unripe is green and like a lots of fruit will be yellow after red in the ripening process, but Yellow Bourbon is yellow also when is mature.
Inside every cherry there is one seed what contains two half seed , one is cambered the other one is concave. Very particular if they coalesce, it’s called Peaberry. Tanzania is famous about this. They select with hand but more often you can find in other countries’ selection too.
How to planting coffee?
Basically the coffee shrub propagated from seed. The farmers prefer Arabica cause the cherries will be more delicious , the quality of the flavor is higher.
They take the seeds from excellent and healthy “mother-trees”, remote the fruit meat and the slimy part but keep on the parchment shell after plant them and look after in the nursery-garden.
After germination in three months the first roots push through, the shoot bring the seed towards the ground, in these time we call them “soldiers ” and they are still in the nursery-garden.
Between fourth and ninth months come forward the first leafs and still keep in the nursery-garden
In the ninth month when the shrub has 12-16 leafs they plant out into the soil.
Between 3 years and 5 years they water it every day till the first cherry.
Processing of coffee
The coffee cherries are purified by various processes in order to leave only the silverskin-coated seed, which is marketed as row or green coffee.
The processes are very diversified and have an effect on the flavor and acidity of coffee so it’s worth to get a line on before buying.
Do you usually buy coffee beans? If so, have you come across the names of the processes on the packaging, such as natural, washed,honey; the most common methods of processing green coffee. Other methods are Semi Washed or Pulped Natural, Semi Washed or Wet Hulled, Fully Washed.
How do growers decide which process to use?
Obviously, every coffee grower strives to be able to harvest the finest-tasting coffee, as he can make a good profit from it. At the same time, coffee is highly dependent on its environment, so growers also need to adapt their decisions to weather and natural conditions.
They primarily pay attention to the weather and decide on the method of processing based on the rainfall. If it has rained a lot, it is less ideal to use the dry or honey process because coffee cherries can crack from a large amount of precipitation, which is not conducive to the method.
However, if there was little rainfall, it is the best choice, as in this case the sugars remain in the coffee fruit, which is essential for a good honey or dry harvest.
A refractometer is often used to detect sugars in coffee fruit. This is especially crucial for dry and honey process, but it is also not a disadvantage for washed process coffee, as in addition to the acidic taste, it can result in sweet flavors in our cup.
The Bean Belt
The coffee is very sensitive that’s why not able to grow everywhere. In order to coffee bush grow into a shrub from the seed , it takes nearly 5 years of careful cultivation, care and watering.
Basically, the most suitable area those that lie above sea level close to the equator,have roughly constant temperature and regular rainfall. Rich volcanic soils and semi-shade planting are an advantage. Its called “bean belt”. Arabica is more sensitive, the perfect if it grown above 1000 m, Robusta withstand easier higher temperatures and lower areas (up to 1000 m).
Coffee is grown more than 50 countries in the world and every area has a specific flavor. Coffees from different countries are thought differently for their geographical features and non-cultural cultural habits, but coffee beans are also processed differently.
Thus, even if they are grown as Robusta or Arabica coffee beans, their shape, taste and color may differ.
Experiences and Innovations
What to expect in the future in the field of coffee processing?
Due to climatic and geographical conditions, the coffee belt has largely developed in which areas which process is used the most.
For example, Rwanda and much of Central America have so far been famous for their washed coffees, while in Brazil, the dry or honey process was more prevalent. This has recently begun to change with the spread of specialty cafes and the strengthening of the new wave, as more and more roasters have emerged with very high demands on quality and quantity.
On the other hand, many have started looking for alternative solutions to reduce water use. Today, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Rwanda have also begun to use the dry and honey methods, bringing a new world of taste to the market.
Today, farmers are no longer just chosen to choose the method of processing, but they are also motivated to develop new technologies. Some try to reduce the amount of oxygen needed for fermentation, others try to find catalysts to help speed up fermentation, not to mention technologies that reduce water waste.
These efforts will certainly expand the flavor profile of coffees and there seems to be plenty of demand for it.
It often happens that coffee beans find a roaster before they are picked, in which case roasters and growers can interactively help each other work by assessing needs and opportunities.