Have you ever thought about how much work it takes to deliver a cup of coffee you enjoy in the morning? Every bean travels a long journey that is as captivating as a book.
In fact, coffee doesn’t even start as a “bean”- it is actually a fruit that itself contains a seed. When planted, these seeds grow into coffee bushes that after 3-4 years can bear the berries. Once ripe, the fruits are harvested, typically by hand. Workers have to be very careful to pick only ripe cherries, which is a slow and laborious process. Most regions have only one harvest season though some countries enjoy two. Typically, the mid-season crop has the best flavor and is the most popular with quality roasters.
After harvesting, coffee has to be processed through one of the methods – dry or wet. The more traditional dry approach is still very popular with small coffee producers. The berries are left in the sun for several weeks until the outer layer becomes dry enough to be removed easily. When a more mechanized wet method is applied, the berries are cleaned with water, and the seeds are extracted with a pulp.
The processed seeds, called green coffee beans, are now ready for roasting. This step requires a nearly perfect timing since the taste of the coffee largely depends on the roasting formula applied here. In fact, just a few minutes can dramatically change the outcome.
The longer the beans roast, the more intense is the flavor. It is easy to assume that coffee with a more intense flavor is stronger, but it’s actually the opposite – the longer the coffee roasts, the more caffeine is removed from it. Once the roasting is complete, the beans are packed and shipped to consumers.
Coffee cultures differ widely around the world. Some prefer espresso shots, others brew their coffee in a pot while quite a few enjoy elaborate mixes such as latte or frappuccino. Whichever recipe you prefer, next time you take a sip of coffee, remember the incredible journey that every seed makes to reach your cup.
Do you like drinking coffee and would like to learn more about this incredible drink? Here are a few suggestions for you to consider:
Coffee: A Global History. Discover stories, economics, geopolitics and people behind our morning cup of coffee.
The World Atlas of Coffee. Learn about the countries where coffee is grown and produced, and different traditions of making coffee around the world.
How to Make Coffee.
The Curious Barista’s Guide To Coffee. If you’d rather brew your coffee yourself, this book offers recipes from a professional connoisseur, that will help you take your coffee making art to the next level.
One Reply to “Coffee: A Journey From Seed To Cup”
I learned lots about this module and don’t hessitate to share or update me. I am a small roaster in our place here in Mountain Province, Philippines.Thank you so much and Godbless us all