Coffee is one of the most loved beverages in the world. This is because of its deliciously balanced taste and high caffeine content compared to other naturally occurring substances like tea or cocoa. So how exactly are coffee beans prepared so that they can reach your cup and give you that tasty push to conquer your day? Read on to find out.
First and obviously, the seeds are planted. Coffee beans are actually seeds and do not come in pods but within fruits called cherries. Planting is best done during the wet season because roots need moist soil to lodge in. After about 3 to 4 years, the coffee trees begin to fruit. Ripening occurs at faster rates in places of higher temperatures and altitudes. It is identified by the reddening of normally green cherries.
After they are handpicked, cherries are processed immediately to prevent rotting. This might be done using the dry method where they are left in the sun for 15 to 20 days. They are placed slightly above the ground on drying beds and turned regularly to avoid fermentation and promote even drying. The wet method involves water and a pulping machine. It is often employed for lower quality coffee.
The beans are not ready to hit the shelves yet, they need to get through a milling process. They are hulled to get rid of dried husk. Beans may be polished but many millers skip this step. It is done to eliminate any little husk that may have escaped hulling. Polished beans are seen as superior in quality.
Coffee beans are then sorted based on weight and size. They are passed through a series of screens with holes on a scale of one to ten. The finest beans are considered to be of the highest quality. Roasting is the last step if the coffee is not green coffee. After this, they may or may not be ground before packaging.