The Lifecycle of a Coffee Bean
Have you ever been curious about the appearance of coffee beans before roasting? The coffee bean is a seed that is just slightly separated from the cherry's skin. It must be processed, dried, roasted, and ground before it can become the golden brown, delicious-but-oh-so-addictive substance we sip at least once a day. Going back to the field, where it all began, will help to make things a little clearer and easier for you since each of these stages is a full universe unto itself. ? Let's review the coffee life cycle step by step.
- Growth of Plant: Way to Harvest
The coffee genus of trees evolved in Ethiopia and is currently cultivated all over the world. These trees all began as the seeds we are all familiar with as coffee beans. Rich soil is used to sow coffee seeds, which will cause the little bean or seed to rise above the earth on a green stem. The Cycle of coffee beans from the beginning of the plantation to the harvest is stated below:
- Growth of seed (0-15 Months)
Of course, the initial step is to grow the coffee plant's seeds in a suitable and natural environment. Since a node will develop at the location of each flower's bloom, blooming is an important part of the growth cycle. A tiny coffee cherry, which houses the valuable coffee beans that we consume every day, will develop from each of these nodes. The seed will grow and be put into the seedbeds after around one and a half months. If the plant is still growing and healthy after another 4 to 6 months, it will then be put in the field.
- Green cherries appearance (16 – 20 months)
The start of the cherry growth is indicated by the flowering, one of the most attractive stages in the life of the coffee plant. The green cherries develop for 3 to 4 months after flowering, and it takes another 4 months or so for them to ripen and be ready to be harvested.
- Ready to Harvest
One significant harvest, which requires a lot of labour, occurs annually. To ensure that only mature cherries are selected while picking speciality coffee, it is always done by hand. When picking coffee by hand, certain cherries may be selected in the first round of harvesting while others may require waiting until they are fully ripe. The harvest season, which can span 4- 6 months, is broken up into many passes by coffee pickers, who normally make one every eight to ten days. The equivalent of 50 to 60 pounds of unroasted coffee beans can be harvested by a skilled picker per day or up to 200 pounds of fruit. After being harvested, the coffee is taken to the next phase which is called processing.
- Processed Beans: (Peeled, Washed and Dried)
The cleaning station, or simply the farm's hub, is where the employees often send cherries after they have been picked by farm workers. Here, the cherries are further processed. To properly process coffee cherries, the husk and fruit must be carefully removed from the beans, and the beans must then be dried. There are two primary processing techniques, and which one is employed depends on available resources, and business goals.
- Dry or Natural Method
The simplest and oldest way of preparation is the dry method, often known as the natural approach. More than 50% of the coffee consumed worldwide is prepared in this manner. Cherries that have been picked are spread out under the sun on sun beds. They are rolled and scraped repeatedly to maintain equal drying. The approach is the most time-consuming but also the most conventional and organic when looking for a high level of quality. The flavours will reach the bean if the beans are dried in the sun with their peel still attached.
The fruit is dried before the peel and pulp are removed in this process. Specialized equipment as well as a significant volume of water are needed for this method. The cherries are put into the water. Fruit that is bad or not ripe will float whereas nice ripe fruit will sink. The undesirable fruit is thrown away, and the remaining pulp is either scraped off using special tools or cleaned from the coffee bean by bacteria during fermentation. The coffee beans are then placed on tables to dry in the sun. These beans, which are still coated in their silvery skin, are sorted first by size in circulating drums. The separated beans are put in huge water-filled tanks. Then they are dried in a manner that is similar to the Dry Method. These beans may occasionally be dried in big dryers that reduce the time required to dry parchment coffee.
- Roasting Beans:
The bags of coffee reach the roastery. We would not have the delicious coffee we know today without roasting the beans. Roasting the green, pale beans brings out the many chemicals that are hidden away in each bean. A light roast in a very less time. It is thought to bring out the bean's more fruity and flowery characteristics. A dark roast, which is more typical for Robusta coffee, takes a little longer and expresses the bean's more sweet or nutty characteristics. To customers, light, medium, or dark roasts are all a matter of choice.
This is how coffee beans require a lot of time, care, and work before they can be served to you. Take the time you need to appreciate and taste this gift from nature, which impacts the lives of many peoples who work hard every day to provide you with the highest-quality coffee. We want you to know that our goal is to equal the dedication of every individual who planted, irrigated, clipped, weeded etc. the valuable beans you purchase. As you can see, growing, processing, and roasting coffee involves a series of very detailed and difficult steps, and we don't take any of that for granted.