Coffee beans, or seeds, come from plants. These are small berries that are colored red or green. These eventually form like coffee beans after being picked, skinned, dried, roasted and ground. But how exactly does this process work? We explain it to you below!
The origin: The seeds
The coffee bean starts as a seed on a tree, the coffee plant. When this seed is about 8 months old, it is picked from the tree. This seed is then a hard small seed with a little bit of flesh on the inside. During these eight months, the beans should change color from green to red. After the beans have been picked, they end up in a selection, here the lesser berries are discarded. After a manual selection, the seeds are placed in a water bath where the ripe seeds sink to the bottom and the unripe seeds float. These are then scooped out.
Processing the seeds into coffee bean
When the unripe seeds have been removed, the remaining seeds are pressed through a grid under pressure. This grid removes the pulp from the seeds. The seeds are then dried and then brushed to remove any remaining pulp from the seeds. Originally, the wet process to remove the pulp was skipped and the seeds, pulp and all, were dried. Today this rarely happens.
After the 'wet process' in which the pulp is removed, the seeds are slowly dried in the 'dry process'. The beans, meanwhile, are dried on a table or floor by the sun. Nowadays this often happens in special ovens where the temperature is precisely monitored. This is a delicate process where the beans should not become too dry.
After the 'wet process', the beans are brushed one more time to remove leftover pulp from the bean. Then the different beans are sorted according to quality requirements. Blends are created by mixing the different beans. The purpose of this blending is that over the years a taste-fixed blend can be created that can be sold at a fixed price. The beans will still be white, but they are already shaped like coffee beans.
The roasting of the coffee bean, when does that happen?
After the created blends, the bean is sold to a roaster. This roaster will roast the beans in special ovens. During roasting, many different chemicals are developed that will give the bean its taste. After this, part of the beans will be ground and another part will be sold unground. In both variants, the beans are vacuum packed to guarantee the shelf life.
How is my coffee powder or instant coffee made?
Both coffee powder and instant coffee originate from the coffee bean. Depending on the purpose, the grinding degree of the coffee powder is adjusted. With instant coffee, the coffee is freeze-dried after roasting. This process allows the coffee to be used as instant coffee.