What does a coffee bean go through before it ends up in your cup? From the time it’s planted to the moment it’s brewed, a lot happens to get that caffeine jolt into your system. Read on to learn more about the fascinating life of a coffee bean.
From Bean to Seedling
Believe it or not, coffee beans are the seeds of a fruit that grows on coffee trees. Before coffee seedlings can be nurtured into coffee plants, the seeds (coffee beans) must be carefully selected and sorted. Once the seeds have been chosen, they are placed in special trays where they will germinate. The trays are kept in a warm, humid environment, and the seedlings are watered regularly.
Plant Maturity and Flowering
A coffee plant can take up to five years to mature and produce its first coffee cherry crop. Once the plant flowers, the cherry growth process begins. The flowers only bloom for a few days, and each flower can produce two cherries. The cherries take around nine months to ripen; during this time, they will undergo several color changes. Once they are ripe, the cherries are either picked by hand, or by special machinery that shakes the coffee trees and collect the cherries.
Harvesting Coffee Cherries
Harvesting coffee is an involved process that coffee farmers take very seriously. The coffee cherries ripen at different times throughout the season. Therefore, farmers must carefully select only ripe cherries, as unripe coffee beans can impart a sour taste to the coffee. Once the coffee cherries have been picked, they are sorted for the processing phase of their lifecycle.
Processing The Harvest
The fruit and husk must first be removed to get to the beans. There are a few different ways to do this, and the method often depends on where the coffee is grown. For example, in Ethiopia, coffee cherries are often sorted by hand and laid out in the sun to dry. After a few weeks, the cherries will turn dark, and the seeds will be easy to remove. However, in large-scale commercial operations, machines are typically used to remove the fruit and husk.
Drying coffee beans is a process that can be done in a few different ways, but the most traditional method is to dry them in the sun. The cleaned green coffee beans are placed on drying patios or raise
d beds, where they will be turned regularly. The beans must be dried slowly and evenly to avoid damage, typically drying over 10-14 days.
Drying coffee beans is a lengthy process, but it is essential for producing the high-quality coffee we know and love. After they have been dried, the coffee beans are sent to a storage facility, where they will be sorted and graded before being shipped to roasters, like us at K Brew.
Here’s Where We Come In
With a fresh batch of green coffee beans, K Brew roasters can create coffees with complex flavor profiles and delightful aromas.
Have you tried our K Brew roasts? We roast our coffee beans ourselves. So why not pick up a bag of K Brew freshly roasted coffee at our 4 locations or online? Whether you enjoy a light, medium or dark roast coffee, we have something for everyone.