What actually is coffee?

What actually is coffee? It is a very simple question yet a legitimate one. Let’s find out more…

To keep things simple coffee is actually a bean that sits in a cherry. Grown on farms around the equator (due to heat,soil,humidity,altitude etc), these little cherry plants are responsible for the cup of coffee we love each morning!

Inside this cherry usually lies 2 seeds which have now become known as “green coffee beans”. I say usually 2 seeds as sometimes you may find one seed inside these cherries which are known as “peaberry beans” (more on that some other time).

So the the green beans that lies inside these little cherries must be removed from the cherries in order to make coffee right? Correct!

This is where the magic with coffee happens. The art of removing the seeds from the outer layers of the cherry (known as de-pulping) largely becomes responsible for the flavors and nuances of each coffee.

Coffee beans removed from the cherry.

The mechanisms of how the coffee beans are removed from the cherries is referred to as “The Coffee Process”. This is extremely important and much care and consideration is needed here in order the brings the best characteristics out in each bean.

The main coffee processing methods are natural, washed & honey processing. Each of the three methods extract the bean from the cherry in a different manner – thus creating a unique taste and cup profile!

Once the beans are removed from the cherry i.e processed they often undergo rigorous sorting and grading before they can be put into “lots” & exported. This ensures that only the best and healthiest beans pass onto the next phase.

Coffee beans undergoing de-pulping & processing.

In the next series of blogs I will discuss each processing method in more detail. This will hopefully give you a better understanding of how the different processing methods ultimately give the coffee their own unique taste.

Keep an eye out for the next Journal installment coming very soon.

Thanks for reading, Stephen.

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