Business of Coffee: From Bean to Cup
I love coffee! It isn’t easy to envision a day without it, whether cradling a travel mug on your way to work or rushing out after spin class to recharge with a skinny latte. A steaming cup of coffee has a calming effect and can energise anyone anytime.
This article will examine the coffee manufacturing process, from seed to cup.
From seed to cup: the coffee production process
Coffee beans are seeds. It makes coffee after being dried, roasted, and ground. The seed can be planted and grow into a coffee tree if it is not processed. In shaded nurseries, coffee seeds are typically planted in large beds. The seedlings will be watered frequently and kept out of direct sunlight until they are strong enough to be planted permanently. It is common to grow during the rainy season to maintain the soil’s moisture as the roots take root.
Also Read, Coffee Maker Vs Making Coffee Manually
Newly planted coffee bushes take 3–4 years to bear fruit, depending on the varietal. The fruit, commonly known as cherries, turns from green to bright or dark red depending on the degree of ripeness, with unripe ones remaining green. Cherries ripen faster at lower altitudes and higher temperatures. People can hand-harvest coffee to ensure that only the ripe cherries are picked. Hand-picking is a complicated and labour-intensive process requiring people to check cherries for ripeness carefully; of course, it requires paid labour. Coffee is always harvested using one of the two methods listed below:
- Strip picking
- Selective picking
To prevent fruit spoilage, processing must begin as soon as the coffee is picked. The Dry Method has been used for ages to process coffee.
First, the recently plucked cherries are laid out to dry in the sun in sizable flat areas. Then, the cherries are stirred and raked throughout the day to keep them from rotting, and they are covered at night or during heavy rain to keep them from getting wet. This process may go on for several weeks for each batch of coffee, depending on the weather, until the cherries’ moisture content falls to 11%.
Following harvest, the coffee cherry’s pulp is removed using the wet method, leaving the bean’s parchment skin alone to dry. The just-harvested cherries are first run through a pulping machine to remove the skin and pulp from the bean.
The beans are then segregated by weight as they go through water channels. Lighter beans float to the top, while heavier beans sink to the bottom. Finally, they are separated by size as they pass through a succession of revolving drums.
The beans are moved to big fermenting tanks with water after being separated. They may stay in these tanks for 12 to 48 hours to remove the slippery layer of mucilage that is still affixed to the parchment, depending on several variables, including the condition of the beans, the environment, and the altitude. In addition, enzymes naturally occurring in the tanks will cause this layer to disintegrate.
The beans have reached the end of fermentation when they feel gritty. After passing through further water channels to rinse them, the beans are prepared for drying.
Coffee milling process
A more effective technique is pneumatic sorting, which divides the light from the heavy beans using an air jet. The size of the beans is determined by passing them through a succession of screens with holes that only permit beans of a particular size to pass through. The measurement is done on a scale from one to ten. Only the best beans are packed for sale in high-end marketplaces after the milling process. In certain nations, the inferior beans are taken for processing and sold as subpar coffee rather than thrown.
Coffee tasting process
The packed coffee is tasted several times to check further and define its taste and quality. The procedure is called capping and takes place in a particular room designed to enhance it. The tasting allows people to determine where their coffee comes from. The process should not frighten you; anyone can participate in it. It entails gurgling coffee inside your mouth and determining which flavour it is. The procedure is very similar to a wine tasting.
The green coffee beans we buy in our favourite shops or coffee shops are transformed by roasting into flavorful brown beans. A temperature of roughly 550 degrees Fahrenheit is often maintained by roasting equipment. To prevent the beans from burning, the process is continuously moved.
They start to turn brown and release the caffeoyl, a fragrant oil that has been locked inside the beans when they reach an internal temperature of roughly 400 degrees Fahrenheit. At the core of roasting, a process known as pyrolysis creates the flavour and aroma of the coffee we consume.
After roasting, the beans are cooled by air or water. Since freshly roasted beans must go to the client as soon as possible, roasting is typically done in importing nations.
The most flavorful cup of coffee is the main objective of a grind. The coffee should be ground fine or coarse, depending on the coffee machine. The manner of grinding affects how quickly the flavours of the coffee can be released. Because of this, espresso coffee is ground very finely. Contrarily, coffee made with filter coffee machines has a coarser grind.
Packaging for coffee is crucial since even brief air exposure can cause the coffee to lump. This is particularly true of ground coffee, which rapidly loses flavour when exposed to air. Due to this, coffee is typically stored in airtight containers that must be securely sealed after use.
The production of coffee requires a lot of human labour. In addition, making the perfect cup of coffee takes some skill. Consequently, branded coffee should be considered.