In this article, we’ll look at how your morning cup comes together from bean to steaming hot vessel thanks to its amazing procedure!
Picking out just the right plants can take up most farmers’ time throughout any given growing season – but thankfully there are some new innovations making harvesting, and the process of growing and producing coffee easier than ever before.
Coffee Planting Process
Even though we call them coffee beans they are actually seeds. Planting unprocessed coffee seeds can result in the production of coffee plants.
The first step of harvesting coffee is to pick the ripe red cherries from the trees. These are then collected and spread onto a large surface, usually nylon clothes under direct sunlight for two weeks until they dry up.
In this stage of drying, coffee beans lose about 70% of their moisture content before its process continues to remove the pulp or flesh surrounding the seeds by using water. The remaining muscle covering can be removed through mechanical de-pulping machines. If not mechanically eliminated, it will be dried along with the beans at which point fermentation begins.
Therefore, rainy season planting is best to ensure that the root system gets established while the soil keeps moist.
It takes up to 4 years approximately for a coffee tree to bear fruit.
That fruit, known better as cherries, when an unripe has green color but after some time it goes to a darker or brighter red. They can be hand-picked although it’s very hard and time-consuming.
A farm is cleared after three pickings, as cherries mature at different rates. Of course, hand-picking is not the only option.
In Brazil where a big amount of coffee is made, cherries are machine harvested.
The final product is the coffee beans themselves, carefully protected by fruity pulp (pulp is not removed completely during pre-processing).
It can be easily seen that they are not ready to be eaten or used in any other way. They need further processing to achieve their final form and color (light brown, almost white).
The processing of coffee cherries consists of 4 stages:
de-pulping, fermentation, drying, and milling.
In order to reduce environmental impact as much as possible, some producers do a combination of the wet and dry processes which reduces transportation costs.
Processing Coffee Using Dry Method
Usually, in areas where there’s a lack of water, this process is very representative. This is one of the ancient methods of processing coffee beans or so-called cherries. A different name for it is an unwashed or natural method of processing.
It is very typical for people who have small farms and produce coffee this way.
On a large surface, beans are spread out and exposed to the sun to dry out for 15 to 20 days. They should be placed in a way that the air can circulate from all sides of each berry.
From time to time they should be turned and raked so fermentation is avoided. It usually takes a few weeks until the process is over, but that mostly depends on the weather.
In this phase, the surface of cherries is dried out and has become black.
This is making outer skin removal much easier.
Processing Coffee Using Wet Method
This method is called wet because we use water throughout the process. Compared to the dry method, this one is pretty new.
It involves the same process of cleaning and picking the cherries as in the previous one. Then, the beans or cherries are put in the pulping machine that removes the skin from cherries without damaging it.
They are hand-picked, and these beans usually produce a lower quality coffee.
The process lasts roughly 24 hours. After desolvation, it is repeatedly washed so that no sticky residue remains. The beans are now put out in the sun to dry out for a day or two.
The Tasting Process
The tasting process sounds like a lot of fun. And it is.
It helps us to tell which form is the coffee. All you have to do is take the coffee back to the mouth and identify the flavor.
Sounds like vine tasting, right?
The coffee roasting process is the process of where the green beans become brown-ish, smelly ones. In order to prevent coffee beans from burning, the green beans must be continuously turned.
When the first crack on the bean appears, it doubles its size while the color is turning into a light brown. The aroma and the taste of coffee we get are thanks to this process, better known as pyrolysis.
The coffee can be light or medium roasted, or it can continue with the process and obtain dark roasting coffee.
Coffee Grinding Process
When all the above steps are over, it’s time for the grinding process. This process mainly depends on the type of coffee brewer.
It will determine how fine or coarse the coffee should be ground. So, in order for the coffee to release its flavors, it must be ground to a certain degree. After using your favorite coffee machine, your cup of happiness is ready to be drunk.
We sincerely hope you find this article about the process of growing and producing coffee helpful! If you have any additional questions, please let us know down below!
Reliant Coffee Team