Have you had your fruit today? How about your morning coffee? If so, you’re on the right path! Did you know that coffee beans are not beans at all, but seeds from the coffee cherry? They’re a small fruit found on trees in over 70 countries across the world. These trees grow from 15-30 ft, begin bearing fruit after 3-5 years, and continue for the next 10-20 after that. Most coffee berries are still handpicked since a tree will have ripe and unripe berries at the same time. As you can imagine its quite labor intensive!
Once these berries are picked, either wet or dry methods of processing can be used. The wet method involves stripping the seeds from the flesh of the berry and soaking them in water for about two days to clean the seeds. The dry method is simpler, and more common – the cherries are spread out on large concrete slabs and left to dry naturally in the sun for a week or more. These cherries are turned regularly to ensure even drying, and husked by machine to reveal each seed once the drying process is complete.
The next steps are where the magic happens. These coffee beans are sorted, roasted, packaged and prepared for distribution across the world. There are thousands of different roasting processes, each resulting in their own unique flavor. Beans that are lightly roasted maintain more of their original flavor. Those roasted for longer periods of time become darker and begin to take on more of the “roast flavor,” making it harder to distinguish between the original flavors of each bean.
Now that you know a little more about the process, we have to ask…what’s your cup of tea? (or coffee as the case may be!) Do you prefer lighter roasts, or is it a rich dark roast that excites your palate each morning? Check out some of our great coffee gift baskets and enjoy your morning brew!