Coffee beans start out as a simple seed that’s planted most often in a controlled nursery environment. This helps the seed mature while being sheltered from harsh sunlight and other natural elements. Once the plant is mature enough, it’s planted in a permanent spot where it can take root and continue to grow into a coffee tree. After the coffee tree is planted, it takes about three to four years before it yields fruit. This fruit is known as the coffee cherry.
Once the coffee cherry is ripe, it turns a deep red color and is ready to be picked. The cherries are then either picked by hand or machine. The fruit is then laid out on large surfaces and left to dry out in the sun. To prevent the cherries from spoiling, the fruit is raked and covered at night to keep them out of the elements such as rain. This process is repeated until there is very little moisture left in the cherry.
After the cherry is dried, the product is known as parchment coffee. The next step is to hull the parchment coffee. This process involves removing the dried husk of the cherry and leaving a simple coffee bean behind. Then the beans are graded and sorted depending on weight and size. After, they are inspected for color defects and blemishes. When the impure beans have been removed, the byproduct is now known as green coffee and is ready to be roasted.
Roasting is the process that turns green coffee into the brown beans we all know and love. The green coffee is roasted at about 550 degrees Fahrenheit and turned continuously to prevent burning. Once the bean reaches an internal temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit, the roasting process is completed and then the beans are left to cool.
Grinding usually takes place in stores where you buy coffee or in your own home. The coarseness of a grind depends heavily on how you want to brew the coffee. Espresso machines require a very fine grind compared to a drip coffee maker. It’s important to note that the finer the grind, the more strong and concentrated the brew will be.
There are many different ways to brew coffee but two of the most popular are via a drip coffee maker and the French Press. Both produce different tastes and qualities.
A drip coffee maker makes more coffee at one time and is more convenient for people on the go. Although it does take a little more time to brew, it’s easier to use than the French Press. Just fill the machine up with coffee grounds, close the lid and press a button. It’s that easy! It also yields a less oily cup of coffee, which some peoples’ palates prefer over the French Press.
The French Press is a totally different way of brewing and is less popular in the United States. However, it creates a much more customizable experience. You can make the coffee stronger by adding more grounds and letting the coffee steep for a longer period of time.
There you have it folks! From the farm to your cup, enjoy the entire experience. Also, don’t forget to celebrate National Coffee Day by purchasing one or more of our bags of coffee. We recommend the full city roast for the fall season.
Tessa Meriwether - Staff Writer
Tessa is a coffee aficionado, multimedia journalist, and graduate of the University of Texas in Austin currently working as a freelance journalist in Lubbock, TX. To learn more, click here: http://www.tessameriwether.pressfolios.com