Coffee is one of the world's most beloved beverages, and it all starts with the humble coffee bean. But how exactly are coffee beans made? From sowing the seeds to roasting and grinding, this comprehensive guide will take you through the entire process of coffee bean production. Coffee production begins with the growth of a coffee plant. Coffee grows on a blossoming shrub that was once native to tropical Asia and Africa, but is now found all over the world. These coffee trees, especially those that produce the best coffee, only thrive in certain climates, usually those near the equator.
The regions where the coffee beans come from are collectively known as the coffee belt. Once harvested, the beans must be processed before they can be used to make coffee. This involves sorting, roasting, cooling and packaging, but can also include grinding. First, bags or sacks of green coffee beans are opened by hand or by machine, emptied into a hopper and sieved to remove residues. Then, the green beans are weighed and transferred to storage hoppers, unless it is a small-scale production. The beans are then transported from the storage hoppers to the roaster.
Roasting is an essential step in making coffee as it brings out the flavor and aroma of the beans. The roasting process also affects the body and acidity of the coffee. Dark-roasted coffees take on much of their character from the roasting process, with notes of roasted flavor and full body. After being roasted, the beans are shipped worldwide for sale in supermarkets and coffee shops. They can also be ground into a powder for use in espresso machines or drip brewers.
The only coffee made with elephant stools is Black Ivory Coffee, a brand created by a Canadian businessman named Blake Dinkin. Another popular method of processing coffee is honey processing. This method works by removing the cherry pulp from the coffee, but leaving the sticky mucilage that covers the beans intact (which is often called “honey”) while the coffee beans ferment. Honey processed coffees have less depth of body than those processed with a natural method, but they are more likely to be consistent grain by grain and cup by cup. Finally, there is kopi luwak, which is made from beans that have been eaten and partially digested by civets (a type of small mammal). Once finally processed, these beans are called kopi luwak and are often marketed as a rare and expensive coffee. Coffee comes from coffee plants (coffea), which normally grow and thrive in warm, tropical climates; that's why much of the world's coffee comes from countries such as Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, Ethiopia and Guatemala.
Unfortunately, other important molecules are destroyed during processing such as antioxidants and vitamins in green coffee. So there you have it - from seed to cup! Coffee bean production is an intricate process that requires careful attention at every step. From sowing seeds to roasting and grinding them into powder for use in espresso machines or drip brewers - each step plays an important role in creating delicious cups of coffee.