| Annalisa Capponi

#5. How is Coffee Produced?

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How is Coffee Produced?
What is coffee? Before understanding how coffee is processed, let’s refresh a couple of key notions!
Coffee belongs to the Rubiaceae family and is known under the Coffea genus.
The coffee plant produces flowers - similar to jasmine - and fruits.
It grows in warm climates, specifically in the countries between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
Coffee plants are mainly cultivated in the tropical regions of Central and South America, Southeast Asia and Africa.
The two most commonly grown species of coffee are Arabica and Robusta.
The average life plant is 20 years.
How is coffee processed? Let’s have a quick look step by step…
A few selected green coffee beans of the chosen variety are kept to be used as seeds.
After a coffee seed is planted, it takes 4-7 years for the plant to flower and produce coffee cherries.
Cherries take 6-7 months to ripen. After ripening, they are ready to be harvested, either by machine, carefully handpicking, or stripping.
The harvested cherries are put through one of the significant processing methods: most commonly the dry or wet processes. In the dry process, the cherry is allowed to dry and the pulp is absorbed into the bean.  In the wet process, the cherry and pulp are removed using water, and the beans are fermented in water vats. A third, lesser known process is semi-washed, where the cherry and pulp are removed using water, and then the beans are allowed to dry.  The last, and least known, process is called honey processing, where mucilage is not entirely removed but rather dried with beans.
Then, the green beans are roasted, after which they are either left as whole beans, or ground in different forms: ground, instant, and single-dose.
Finally, coffee is packed and marketed in different packaging: vacuum sealed, valve compressed bags, cans, and airtight packaging.
Do you want to go further on your coffee knowledge? We personally suggest this Lavazza link: https://www.lavazza.us/en_US/magazine.html.
Let us know if you do have other resources!!
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