When you have your morning cup of Joe do you ever wander about the coffee bean used in your drink? Coffee beans are the seeds of the coffee plant. The bean itself is found inside the coffee berry or coffee cherries. The beans are harvested a sold either green or roasted. Most of the coffee in the world comes from two types of beans; coffee Arabica or coffee Robusta. Coffee Arabica accounts for the majority of coffee beans sold and the others are usually coffee Robusta.
There do exist; some very rare species of coffee beans. These are very limited in their production and not available for export. These include two types of Liberian coffee beans. Other rare species of coffee beans are beans from the Congo and Bengal coffee.
Arabica beans are known for their flavor and Robusta beans are known for their ability to thrive in areas other coffee beans would not. The actual taste of the bean depends a great deal on the soil the coffee bean was grown in and how the bean is processed. Coffee is grown on plantations on many continents. The climate all coffee is grown in must be warm and humid .Arabica and Robusta are considered the bean most suited for commercial export.
There are three major steps in the production of coffee beans. The seeds of the coffee plant are small green cherries that turn red when they are ready to harvest. The coffee berries are actually sweet to taste when they are ready to pick. Picking is usually done by hand. The Robusta coffee plant yields twice as many cherries than the Arabica plant.
Once the beans are harvested then they are processed. The leaves and stalk are removed from around the bean. Then the coffee is processed by one of two methods depending on the technical and size of the plantation. In the dry method of coffee processing the beans are laid out in the sun to dry for several days. They are raked often to make sure the beans dry evenly. When the beans are fully dried the husks, parchment, and skin are removed usually by hulling machines.
Another method to get newly harvested coffee beans processed is the wet method. In this method beans are fomented in large concrete tank. This loosens the pulp on the bean. Once the beans have loose outer layers they are dried in the sun and then the hulling machine is used to remove the skin off of the bean.
Lastly the beans our passed through screens and examined for imperfections. Small broken beans receive a lower grade. All beans are graded for export. The inspectors look for defects in the bean that will affect the flavor of the final coffee grind. The beans are also graded on size and color. Different grades of coffee beans are sold then for export. Now that you know some beans about beans you will know how much work went into your morning caffeine fix.