. . .Hello!
In my previous post, I touched on what roasting is …
Now I will be introducing you to the first step of the coffee roasting process:
Now mind you, I didn’t know this, and I’m so happy that I had the opportunity to branch out and indulge in the roasting aspect of coffee.
I made it my duty to make a trip to Stellenbosch and had some what of a mini interview with one of the roasters at one of my favourite coffee cafe’s (More on that in my next post)
Coffee harvesting is the notion of collecting fruits and stripping the fruit away, until only the seed is left behind.
It goes through many chemical processes, and the seed that is then extracted, is called a “cherry”. According to the roaster that I had a chat with, he said that an example of a fruit that can be stripped is a peach.
The coffee trees that are planted, blooms flowers that bear fruits (colours changing from Green to Red), that ripen within 8 months after the 4-5 year period after it had been planted and is then harvested by either hand (selective picking) or machine depending on the landscape of the fields where the trees have been planted.
There are two processes that coffee beans can go through, before becoming the final product that can be roasted, Namely: Wet Processing and Dry Processing
In a nut shell, wet processing is when the fruit that is covering the seed is removed before it is dried using specific equipment and different quantities of water that would sort and break down and ferment the beans (Takes 24-36 hours) with microbes (bacteria) and then washing them with a large amount of water.
This process has to be monitored at all times to avoid that the beans don’t acquire sour flavours.
After the fruit has been stripped and washed, the coffee beans are spread on large tables, left to dry in the sun or by machine depending on the humidity where the beans are being cultivated. (Intensive labour and very costly).
Dry process is the oldest method of processing coffee, and is known as natural coffee, or unwashed.The cherry is first cleaned and then placed in the sun on tables by hand up-to 4 weeks depending on the weather conditions. Machine drying is used to sometimes speed up the drying process. This stage is the most important, because it affects the quality of the green bean. Coffee beans that have been over dried can become brittle and beans that have not been dried enough can result in the beans being deteriorated by fungi and bacteria.
Most beans around the world are processed using the dry method, but is not practical in parts of the world where it rains a lot and the humidity is high.
I have tried to capture Coffee Harvesting in a very basic sense. These processes are very intricate and are extremely detailed, I myself am still trying to absorb all the information that I’m reading up on or being taught about.
The photo that is featured, is how the coffee beans look after it has gone through the necessary harvesting and processing methods.
It is the final product before roasting can happen, and is one step closer to being able to indulge in the delicious taste of coffee.
Until Next Time . . .