Coffee beans are the roasted seeds that coffee comes from. It was first exported to Ethiopia from Yemen.
Coffee beans are distinguished by distinctive flavor, caffeine content, and acidity. These characteristics, in turn, are dependent on the local growth environment, method of processing, and the genetic subspecies or varieties.
Two coffee bean varieties are often blended for more flavor and variety. Among the most popular variety of traditional blends is the Mocha-Java, a combination of beans of the same name. The popular chocolate-inspired beverage called Café Mocha is believed to have been invented due to the unavailability of mocha.
A lot of processes and human labor are needed before coffee berries and their seeds can be processed and turned into roasted coffee. These include picking, wherein laborers picked coffee berries by hand and in turn received payment by the basket. Up to seven baskets a day can be picked by an experienced coffee picker. Defruiting involves soaking, scouring the flesh of the coffee berry.
Drying is the process whereby coffee beans are spread over a wide concrete surface and then dried by air and sunlight. The beans are then sorted by color and size. Another process is called aging; some believe that green coffee improves over time, while others dispute this belief saying that it loses its flavor as it ages. The roasting process is an integral part of a great-tasting coffee. The green coffee bean expands its size and changes color and texture when roasted.
On the other hand, the process involved in producing single origin coffees grounds prior to brewing are grinding, chopping, and pounding. Grinding involves tearing the bean. Coffee experts consider burr grinders to be the best way to grind coffee. Chopping the bean into pieces through blade grinders that smash the beans with a high-speed blade is another method. The third process is called pounding, whereby beans are pounded by the use of mortar and pestle.
So the next time you see a coffee bean, you know the exciting journey it went through before finding its way into our cup.