June 14, 2024

What are coffee beans?

2 min read


We know where ground coffee comes from. These are just coffee beans that have been ground into a somewhat fine powder…but where do these coffee beans originally come from? If you don’t know the origin of coffee yet, you will soon!

From cherry to green coffee beans

Here we will discuss the different stages a coffee bean goes through before it is sold to roasters around the world.

The first thing to remember is that the coffee bean is basically the kernel of the fruit. This fruit is called cherry and grows on coffee trees.

This is not a cherry eaten in late spring and/or early summer! No here, we are talking about this fruit that you see in the image below. The cherries in the coffee tree are much smaller than the regular cherries.

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When the fruit ripens and turns red, it is picked. There are different methods of harvesting and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Picking, for example, makes it possible to pick only ripe fruit, while machine peeling is faster but does not distinguish between ripe or unripe cherries. This has an effect on the final quality of the coffee.

Once the cherries are picked, the grains are removed. 

There are different ways for this:

Dry method: The beans are left in the sun for several weeks until the fruits dry and harden. This will then allow to peel the whole and keep only the two beans.

Wet method: Allows the pulp to be removed by washing. To remove the mucilage (the thin shell that encases the two beans), the beans are then fermented and stirred for 12 to 36 hours. When you buy whole bean coffee, it may be said “washed coffee”.

Semi-wet method: here the pulp is removed mechanically and then the beans are washed and dried in the sun. This technique reduces the amount of water required compared to the previous method.

Get a detailed views about coffee at: El Progresivo Website

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