What is coffee?

What is coffee?

What is coffee?
Sure, an interesting question. We consume over 2.25 billion cups of coffee, all around the globe, every single day. Coffee is very important to us, wherever we are in the world. Yet, do we know what we’re drinking and where it came from? Here we present you the story of coffee, so you’ll fall in love more than you already are.

Growing coffee

Coffee takes a lot longer than ten minutes to make. An unroasted green coffee bean is the seed of a coffee plant. Moreover, there are several species of Coffee plants, with the most common being the Coffee arabica, responsible for 75-80% of global coffee production, while Coffee canephora (robusta) is responsible for approximately 20% of global production.
Besides, it takes approximately 2.5 months for a fresh seed to germinate into a plant, while older seeds can take up to 6 months to germinate. Young coffee plants can be quite fragile and so are usually kept under shade cloth to protect them from the elements.
Then, it takes about 3-4 years for a coffee plant to begin producing fruit that can be harvested for quality coffee. The plants produce flowers that develop into coffee cherries over a period of 30-35 weeks.

¿Qué es el café?

« What is coffee? »

Harvesting and processing coffee cherries

Generally, 4-5 years after being planted, coffee cherries are ready to harvest. Colombia, a country well known for its specialty coffee, has two flowerings each year, resulting in two harvests. Furthermore, harvesting coffee remains very labor intensive in many countries and is often done by hand.
So how does harvesting happen? The farmer will know the coffee cherries are ready to be harvested when they turn bright red. Then, they are selectively picked. It should be noted that the pickers will generally return to the tree again several days later to harvest any additional cherries that have since ripened.

Que es el café

« What is coffee? »

Processing the beans

Just because the cherries have been picked doesn’t mean the farmer’s work is done, they now need to be processed, so as to get that coffee bean out of the fruit.
Following, the coffee cherry is a coffee bean surrounded by a silver skin, a parchment layer, a pectin layer, a pulp layer, and the outer skin, meaning that these outer layers must be removed. It must be done quickly after the harvest to avoid spoilage.

Que es el café

« What is coffee? »

Milling the beans

The farmer’s removed some parts of the cherry, but not all. So next the coffee beans are placed in a hulling machine; this removes the parchment layer from the wet-processed coffee or the entire dried husk from dry-processed coffee.
At this point, the beans will still have their silver skin on them, and they may be polished to remove that skin. This step is optional but polished beans are typically considered superior to unpolished.
The coffee beans are then graded and sorted. Beans that are small or blemished might be rejected during this process. Millers also remove beans that are insect-damaged or over-fermented.

Exporting the beans

At this stage, we have green coffee beans ready to be exported or sold. The size of the global coffee export market is staggering – there is an estimated 5 million people employed in the coffee growing and processing industries worldwide.

« What is coffee? »

Tasting and grading the coffee

Moreover, the green beans are often roasted in small batches and sampled by tasters to ascertain the quality of the bean. Beans are also rated on the quality of their appearance, aroma, and color. Tasters may decide to blend batches and even different varieties to obtain certain qualities, although others will remain single origins.

Degustación y calificación del café

« What is coffee? »

Roasting the coffee

Now the green beans are roasted at a medium, medium high or high temperature that will be according to the type of coffee, consumer taste, method of preparation, etc. and to the magic and art that the toaster puts into this process
Coffee roast masters develop different roast profiles for coffee beans from different sources. The bean’s region, variety, processing method, and desired flavor characteristics will all play a part in determining how a bean should be roasted.
Some of the most common roast profiles you’ll come across are: Light Roast, American Roast, Medium light brown, Medium dark brown.

roasting the coffee

« What is coffee? »

Grinding and brewing

YAY! you’re nearly ready to drink your coffee. The roasted coffee is next ground to a coarseness appropriate for the brewing method that will be used.
There are many ways to brew coffee, including:
Chemex
Vacuum Pot
V60
AeroPress
French Press
Espresso Machine

Each way of brewing coffee can greatly impact on the flavor of your cup.

There’s a long journey from seed to cup, yet every step of the way adds value to your coffee. It’s astounding to think how much work has been done to bring it to you – and how many coffees, processing methods, grinds, and brewing methods you can try. So, we invite you to try one of our various coffees and discover the wonderful world of coffee with us.

If you enjoyed this article, we recommend you to read Where coffee originated

If you found the information useful, like it and share it with your friends, don’t forget to follow us on our social media and if you want to know more about our specialty coffees, contact us:

Website: www.deerhugcoffee.com – Email:  contacto@deerhug.com – WhatsApp: +57 314 8531000

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