The Process of the Coffee Bean

It's all about that fragrant aroma that stimulates our senses in the morning. The tingling sensation we get when we take the first sip in the morning.  It’s how we manage to get that extra boost of energy whenever we feel tired and sleepy. Let’s take some time to ponder the process that the coffee bean has to go through before it can be marketed to you the consumer.

Processing The Coffee Bean

After the coffee berries have been harvested, it needs to undergo a process where the flesh of the coffee berries are removed. The coffee berries are placed in special machines separating the flesh from the seed. This coffee seed is commonly called "the coffee bean". Next, the coffee bean will now undergo a fermentation process for a period of time. This process is done in order to remove the slimy mucilage coating the coffee bean.

After the coffee bean has undergone the mandatory fermentation, they are thoroughly flushed with clean water. This process is to remove the foul smelling residue due to the fermentation process and the waste-water, which is a main cause of pollutant.

The coffee bean is then dried under the sun or by a machine, until the moisture level is about 10% before they can be packed for storage.

Another method of getting the coffee bean without undergoing the fermentation process is to dry the whole berry in the sun. It normally takes about 10 to 14 days to complete the process with constant raking of the coffee beans to prevent mildew from forming. This method is popular and widely used by coffee producers where water is scarce. The dried flesh is then physically removed leaving only the coffee bean.

The dried coffee bean is then sorted and graded before it can be stored or shipped to buyers.  At this stage, the coffee bean is identified as a green coffee bean.

Roasting The Coffee Bean

Roasting is the final process the coffee bean has to undergo before they are commercially marketed. When the coffee bean is subjected to heat, there's a chemical reaction happening within the coffee bean where the sugar and acid will begin to react releasing its aroma. The coffee bean will be darker due to caramelized sucrose. When this happens, the coffee bean is quickly cooled to prevent damage.

When roasting the green coffee bean, a lot of carbon dioxide is released as a by-product. The carbon dioxide helps to "seal" the coffee bean from losing its flavor and aroma. Depending on how the coffee bean is stored, it may take some time before the optimum peak flavor. After reaching its peak, it will start losing its flavor.

Grinding The Coffee Bean

Before the roasted coffee bean can be used, you’ll need to grind them first. The coarseness of your coffee depends on your preference and the type of coffee-brewing method. It can range from coarse to very fine as in the Turkish grind. For example, if you're using a percolator, a course coffee powder is suitable, but if you are using an Espresso machine, an extra fine coffee powder is required.

Conclusion

The coffee bean must undergo a string of processes before it can be consumed. The final flavor of the coffee depends on the journey the coffee beans take in order to reach its final form. Different methods and different techniques will give rise to a varied coffee flavor. This is the reason why there are so many flavors to the simple coffee bean.


Monica SeldenComment