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The Process – Coffee from Bean to Cup

Photo by Chalo Garcia on Unsplash

1. Harvest the Coffee Bean

When the fruits of the coffee bush are red, they are ripe ready to be harvested, which happens once a year approximately.

coffee process

The fruits are usually picked by hand. They are gently scraped off their branches. Arabica coffee beans can sometimes be picked one by one. That’s an expensive and time-consuming process, which requires the fruits to be picked at just the right time. Although it’s a time consuming process, it produces the finest coffee. You should always pick fair trade beans.

2. Processing the Coffee Bean

Directly when the fruits have been harvested, coffee production must begin. The treatment of the beans can be done in two ways:

Two Ways to Process Coffee Beans

  • Wet process: washed coffee

    The coffee beans are picked from the fruits within a day. A machine washes away skins and pulp, and through natural enzymes, the protective layer surrounding the coffee beans can be broken down.

    Then the coffee beans are dried in the sun, or in dryers. Finally, the beans are polished to allow the last layer of the shell to fall off. Then the coffee beans are graded by size and weight.

  • Dry processed: naturals coffee

    The coffee fruits are allowed to dry in the sun for seven to ten days. When the fruit dries it shrinks and the peel turns brown. Inside the fruit you can hear how the beans rattle.

Whatever method is used, the coffee beans are usually sent unroasted.

3. Roasting the Coffee Bean

Only after roasting does the flavors and aromas emerge. The beans are put in a roasting machine that maintains a temperature up to 550 ° F (288 ° C).

Photo by Alex Jones on Unsplash

In the machine, the beans go from being greyish-green to getting a golden color. At approximately 400 ° F, the coffee beans pop and become wice as big.

The coffee bean oils emerge and give the coffee beans its dark brown color. The beans are ready to roast after 3-4 minutes, when the beans pop for the second time.

The roasting time of the beans varies depending on the strength of the beans.

Shorter roasting time, 7–8 minutes, is used for light roasted coffee. Up to 14 minutes or more is used for medium roasted coffee and even longer for dark roasted beans.

4. Coffee Mills

Finally, it is time to grind the coffee. The grinding process releases the flavors from the coffee beans.

ceramic teacup on saucer
Photo by Rima Kruciene on Unsplash

To get the best coffee at home, I recommend that you grind the coffee beans yourself, just before you brew the coffee.

How finely you should ground the coffee beans, depends on what kind of brewing method you use. But in general, you can assume that the faster brewing time, the more finely ground coffee.

Espresso, which is made in just 20 seconds, needs very finely ground coffee. Drip coffee, on the other hand, has a little longer brewing time and requires coffee beans with coarser grinding.

If you’re interested, you can read further about how to brew the perfect coffee och what coffee devices you should use.