1. Coffee begins like a cherry. Coffee trees first produce lovely, white blossoms, similar to jasmine in looks and fragrance. When blooms are complete, the tree begins to produce fruit, which are referred to as the cherries. First the cherries are small and green, and then over a period of 6-9 months they ripen to a delightful shade of red. These cherries contain the highly prized coffee beans, which are actually the cherry's seeds - normally two flat-sided seeds per cherry. We refer to them as "coffee seeds" because that is what they are.
2. Once ripened - the Arabica cherries are predominantly handpicked because they ripen at different times. It takes about 2,000 cherries to produce just one pound of coffee!
3. The ripened cherries are processed to remove the fruit from the seed. There are two methods:
For dry processing The fruit is first washed to clean and remove insects and floaters (defective beans). The cherries are then spread out to sun-dry and are hand-turned by raking for about three weeks until very dried and naturally fermented. The dried fruit undergoes hulling to remove all the skin, pulp and parchment from the seeds. This method is primarily used in drier regions where the air is hot and dry, and fresh water is not in abundant supply.
For wet processing The fresh fruit is washed, staying in contact with water down channels to help loosen the outer skin. They continue their wet process, losing their skin and some pulp as they travel along the way. Still wearing their parchment covering and sticky mucilage they go through series of screens etc. being sorted by size and weight. The seeds land in fermentation tanks where any remaining mucilage is broken down by natural enzymes during a 36-hour soak, then a final rinse and draining and off to be dried in the sun.
4. Both the dry and wet processed seeds are finally polished, screened for size, sorted for quality, graded and bagged in burlap (made of jute or sisal). They are then ready for the green seed market! Special "brokers", "exporters / importers" sample (cup), bid and buy seeds which are shipped all over the world by boat vessels, rail and truck. It is interesting to note the quantity shipped annually: 62 Million Kg. -or- 2.8 Million pounds. There is actually about 21% more harvested, which represents waste from inferior seeds, spillage and sampling.
5. Coffee roasters, such as our company, purchase our green seeds from such brokers. The seeds are sent from their warehouses to ours in 100-150lb. burlap sacks on large pallets.
6. We examine, profile and cup each and every bag of seeds that crosses our threshold. When roasts are sampled and perfected, the profile is saved on our state-of-the-art computer, so the roast can be perfectly duplicated for our customers.
7. Consumers enjoy the brew at their local coffeehouse, or take some home, grind it, brew it and drink it! One of life's simplest pleasures at ideally maximum freshness.
Sparing you the detail of some exceptions, this is the simplified story of coffee from the flower to your cup! Can you believe coffee effectively costs only pennies a cup after all its care?
Coded by Michael Adsit Technologies, LLC. - Content Copyright Two Rivers Roasting Co. 2014 - 2018