The process of getting coffee from seed to your cup is a lengthy one that involves multiple steps. Today we are going to be exploring the steps it takes to get from the coffee seed to the coffee you drink. The coffee goes through many changes and takes on various forms before it is what we think of when we think of coffee.
Did you know that coffee beans are actually seeds? Before coffee beans are dried and roasted, they are able to be planted and produce coffee trees. Initially, the coffee plants need to be shaded from intense sunlight until they are planted for good.
Harvesting the Cherries:
After the coffee plants have been placed in their permanent place, it takes about 3-4 years for the coffee plant to produce fruit. This amount of time is impacted by the environment in which the coffee plants are being grown. There are two main ways to harvest the plants both of which are still in use today. The first is strip picking, which involves taking all the cherries off the plant at one time. This process is able to be done by a person or a machine. The other way to harvest the coffee plants is called selective picking. In selective picking, only cherries that are ripe are picked. This takes a bit longer as you choose some, wait for more to ripen, and then pick some more.
100-200 pounds of coffee cherries will produce 20-40 pounds of beans.
Processing the Cherries:
Coffee must be processed quickly to keep it from spoiling. There are two main ways to prepare coffee. The first is the dry method. This was the original method used to process coffee. Under this method, coffee is dried on a mat by the sun. This could take several weeks to accomplish. The second method is the wet method. The wet method uses water to remove the pulp from the cherries so that when they are dried, they just have the skin left on them rather than the pulp and the skin.
Drying the Beans:
This step is only really required if the wet method was used. The goal of this step is to reduce the moisture level down to 11%. If the dry method is used, the cherries are not done with the processing until they are down to the 11% moisture level.
That’s all for today! Come back to check out the conclusion of how coffee is made on Friday, November 9th.
While we don't have any unprocessed beans, we do have plenty of coffee for you check out! Head over to the shop and check out our Ethiopia Longberry coffee.