How Coffee Is Grown
The unique nature of coffee is clear even at the planting stage. Coffee beans are more specifically known as seeds. Coffee beans that had not been processed would actually be capable of growing into coffee trees. In coffee production, there are shaded nurseries with large beds full of coffee seeds that require a great deal of attention.
All of these seedlings need a lot of water. They are also not strong enough to get a great deal of sunlight, which is why they need shade. Only a few hours of heavy direct sunlight could destroy the plant, since coffee tends to get grown in areas that get a lot of sun.
The planting process itself will usually occur during the wet season. Coffee is grown in countries that have separate rainy and dry seasons in many cases. Digging holes is easier during the wet season. The moist soil makes it a lot easier for the roots to spread.
Coffee trees take around four years to actually produce the fruit that’s necessary for the next phase. The trees themselves will last around twenty-five to thirty years. The resultant coffee cherries are harvested on an annual basis in areas where coffee is grown. Sometimes, this process involves a lot of mechanization. In other countries, the coffee cherries are actually picked manually.
The coffee cherries are literally removed from the branches in some fashion, at any rate. The coffee cherries go through a very selective picking process at this point, where the coffee cherries that are not ripe enough are ultimately excluded. People should be able to get between one and two pounds of roasted coffee as a finished product from a single coffee tree in a given year.
The coffee cherries are very vulnerable to spoilage at this point, and they need to be processed using some method. In some cases, the coffee cherries will be processed using old-fashioned drying methods. Drying them in the sun is popular in some areas. Other methods involve taking the pulp out of the coffee cherry and then drying the beans specially.
The wet method of processing the coffee beans might add some steps to the process, because they will still have to be dried. Wet processed coffee will need to have its parchment layer removed. The silver skin needs to be removed from the beans during the polishing stage of the process. The coffee beans are selected according to their appearance and size after the processing stage.
The roasting stage is next, but the coffee has to be prepared for it in other ways. They often have to be shipped to another location for this step. After milling, the beans are referred to as green coffee. Before the roasting stage, there are lots of different quality control processes that help to ensure that only the best coffee will actually be roasted. Some of these quality control processes will occur as the coffee beans are being processed themselves.
There are actually special rooms for special employees called cuppers to taste and evaluate the quality of the coffee at this stage. The coffee is evaluated for its scent, appearance, and many other factors that will help to determine its suitability for the roasting stage.
The coffee beans basically get cooked at the roasting stage. They will be cooked at different temperatures depending on many different factors. If a roast is mild, then the coffee beans were cooked less. The coffee beans that were cooked the most will often taste almost burnt, and this gives them a very strong flavor.
However, since the beans are always in motion during this process, they are never going to actually get burned at any point. Some of them will just be exposed to more heat than others. After the roasting process, the green coffee will actually start to look and smell the way it does in stores ultimately.
Some of the roasted coffee will be sold as is in the form of full coffee beans that people will have to grind themselves. In other cases, the roasted coffee will be ground up, and the grounds themselves will be sold. It’s the consumers who do the brewing process that transforms beans and grounds into a coffee beverage.