HOW IS COFFEE MADE?
Have you ever wondered if the cup of coffee you have every day is a cherry? And the fun fact is that when goats discovered coffee, it was eaten as food and later made into wine, and only 100s of years later, coffee was made into what we drink now.
If you are curious about how coffee is made, here are the ten steps.
10 Steps of coffee, from planting to brewing.
1. Planting - Coffee beans are actually dried seeds which are planted in the ground in large beds in shaded nurseries. The seeds need to be watered frequently. In India, most of the coffee bushes are planted around larger trees such as silver oaks, for shade from the sunlight. A coffee tree takes four to five years to provide its first crop. And Coffee grows only once a year in most of the countries.
2. Harvesting - This means picking of the cherries. The method of picking depends on the type of processing. If the dry process is used, then all cherries from the branch are picked out, whether they are ripe, under-ripe, or overripe. If the wet process is used then, only the ripe cherries are carefully picked.
The picking process is done by hand in most of the farms, and very rarely are they picked by machines.
3. Processing- The 2 types of processes are dry or wet. The purpose of this process is to separate and remove the outer skin, the fruit pulp, the inner silver skin and the parchment from the green Coffee. Click here to learn about the "Anatomy of a coffee cherry"
In the dry method, after the initial wash, the Coffee cherries are spread on the drying grounds for about two to three weeks, during which fermentation takes place. They are rotated a few times by rakes in the day and are covered in the night to protect them from moisture. When they are completely dried these beans are sent to milling machines.
In the wet process, The cherries go threw multiple cycles of wet washing in big machines to remove the fruit pulp. The wet process is used where there is an abundance of water. This method generally creates the highest quality bean.
4. Drying- If the wet prodegassingcess has been used, the Coffee is spread on the ground and left for drying until it reaches approximately 11% moisture. These are normally sun-dried for a much shorter period. These beans are known as parchment coffee.
Heres an image of a coffee moisture meter - This allows the farmer to see the water content in the bean. This way they can know whether they need to dry the coffee for a little more while, or whether they can move to the next step.
5. Hulling- This process is done to remove the pulp and outer layers from the green bean.
6. Grading and sorting- The beans are graded according to their size in millimetres and weight such as AAA, AA, Peaberry. These beans are sorted accordingly by hand or machines where all the coffee beans are separated using screens. At this step, the Coffee is also checked for impurities and defects.
7. Transport & Re sorting - Batches of 60 kgs of green coffee are bagged in eco plastic bags and then jute gunny bags. These bags are now sent to the roaster via trucks. Once we receive the coffees, we re-sort and clean these coffees and transfer them to airtight containers.
8. Roasting- Once the green Coffee is ready, they are transferred to coffee roasting machines. The roasting of Coffee turns the green beans to brown beans. In this process the water ( moisture) is extracted, from the beans, making the beans lighter.
The roaster puts flame in the drum where the green beans are input. To ensure that the Coffee does not get burnt this drum rotates. After roasting, the beans are transferred to cooling drums to cool down, and left for (removal of gases, mostly CO2, from the bean). Here's a detailed article on what happens during roasting
9. Grinding- Roasted Coffee is ground in Burr grinders into different sizes from fine to Coarse depending on the method of brewing. Grinding the right size is very important to get the perfect brew. Click here for more on this.
10. Brewing- Brewing is the process of making a cup of coffee. There are numerous Brewing methods, including Espresso, French press, Aero Press, Moka Pot, Pour over. If you want to learn how to brew coffee click here
Hope you learnt something!