Do You Know Where and How is Coffee Grown?
Coffee beans do not magically change and become coffee on your cup without some process, do they? They need to be grown, harvested, and processed to create a coffee blend that wins over everyone's taste. In this article, we will discuss the whole process of coffee production to make a great cup of coffee starting right from coffee seeds, coffee plants, harvesting, roasting process, and finally, going to your cup.
Where And How Is Coffee Grown?
Best Region To Grow Coffee
There are two criteria to best grow arabica beans.
1. Subtropics Area
In the subtropics area, Arabica coffee is grown in high elevations of 16-24°. Rain and dry season must be well defined, and the elevation must be between 1800 and 3600 feet. Due to these circumstances, there is only one coffee growth season and one maturity season, which occurs during the coldest portion of fall. These climatic conditions may be found in places like Mexico, Jamaica, Brazil's S. Paulo and Minas Gerais regions, and Zimbabwe.
2. Equatorial Area
In the equatorial area with latitudes less than 10°, Arabica coffee is grown in elevations of 3600-6300 feet. Due to the frequent rains (wet season), blooming is nearly constant, resulting in two coffee harvesting seasons. The primary harvesting season is determined by the maximum rainfall, while the second harvest season is determined by the least rainfall. In this sort of coffee production area, artificial drying with mechanical dryers is used since rainfall is too frequent for patio drying. Kenya, Colombia, and Ethiopia are examples of nations with this climate.
But more, Arabica coffee thrives more in volcanic soil, which is where Indonesia Arabic Coffee comes into this criteria. Arabica also grows more slowly at higher elevations, resulting in a more fragrant coffee.
Robusta coffee, on the other hand, is typically cultivated in the lowlands because it is more tolerant of hot weather than Arabica coffee beans.
How Is Coffee Grown and Harvested?
From Coffee Plants To Coffee Cherries
Coffee comes from a fruit, which comes from coffee trees. Only after the ripe cherries have been dried, roasted, and grounded did it become our most beloved blend. Unprocessed coffee beans will grow and develop into coffee plants if planted in suitable soil.
Typically, seeds are sown in vast, shaded beds. Young seedlings are allowed to develop for a few days after sprouting before being transferred to individual pots with specially prepared soil for maximum growth. Seedlings in pots are kept cool and well-hydrated until they are ready to be transplanted to their permanent growth location. Planting should be done during the rainy season to ensure that the soil remains wet as the roots develop.
A newly planted coffee tree might take anywhere from 3 to 4 years to produce fruit, depending on the variety. This coffee plant will then bear fruit, generally known as cherries or coffee cherries. All the cherries will change color from green to brilliant red or dark red depending on maturity.
A coffee cherry matures faster at lower elevations and in warmer weather. People can harvest coffee cherries by hand, ensuring that only the ripe cherries are collected. Picking cherries by hand is a difficult and labor-intensive operation that requires careful inspection of the cherry for maturity and, of course, hired labor. Cherries mature at various times, and it may take up to three pickings to clear the farm.
But when the coffee plantation is vast, it might be too hard to use hand picking, and instead, they will use a machine to pick the beans.
Whether by machine or by humans, they always use one of these two methods:
Cherries are peeled from the branches by hand or machine.
Ripe coffee cherries (red cherries) are selected first, and green cherries are left to mature. Picking takes place every ten days. This method is mostly utilized to harvest high-quality Arabica coffee because of its labor-intensive nature.
There is usually only one significant harvest season each year in most locations. However, as we mentioned above, the equator regions which have a high volume of rains, such as Kenya and Colombia, have two harvest seasons which are primary and secondary harvest. Coffee plants harvested at the start and end of the season have less developed flavors (lower quality coffee), whilst coffees harvested in the middle of the season have the finest flavors.
Also read: Kopi Aceh Gayo: History, Characteristics, and Variety
From Coffee Cherries To Coffee Beans
Of course, the process didn’t stop after picking coffee cherries.
After harvesting, coffee cherries are processed further. To minimize spoiling, cherries are processed as soon as possible after harvest.
The coffee is then put through a wet or dry process, depending on the available resources and location. The wet method separates the healthy seeds from the poor ones and removes the mucus that covers the seeds by using a lot of water. Because wastewater is considered a contaminant, this practice is sometimes seen as environmentally unsafe.
In the dry process, the coffee beans are dried in the sun on a wide cement surface. After that, the dried beans are pounded and peeled. Because the nuts can become brittle if too dry and moldy if not dry enough, the dry technique can give the beans some of the richer but harder coffee flavors.
The beans are crushed after they have been cleaned to eliminate any leftover coffee fruit. After that, the beans are separated, graded by color and size, and transported all over the world.
They will be roasted at this step to bring out the taste. They can then be packed for sale and placed in your hands once they've been roasted.
Indonesia is known as the producer of finer Arabica beans and Robusta coffee. Indonesian coffee plants are grown on volcanic soil. Many of Indonesia's prized aromatic brown beans, including Sumatran and Sulawesi, are grown on tiny Indonesian farms using the Giling Basah wet-hull process.
The coffee processed with the Giling Basah method removes the outer peel of the coffee cherries and soaks the beans in their mucus for a day. The beans were then rinsed and sun-dried to roughly a third of their original moisture content; the cherries were then hulled and processed.
With its unique soil and a method of processing coffee, some Indonesian coffees have a somewhat earthy taste, a quality that some like but is too strong for others and takes some getting used to, to be fully appreciated.
Want to Have Your Own Best Coffee Blend?
Kisaku specialty blend, Yatagarasu Coffee Beans, discovered two of the best Indonesian coffee beans: Flores Bajawa and Aceh Gayo. Yatagarasu has the tasting notes of brown sugar and dark cocoa, suitable with various brewing methods.
Too lazy to brew? Kisaku also has Drip Bag Coffee which contains Yatagarasu Blend that you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. (Hint: You don’t even need a coffee machine!). Check our shop here.
Also read: History and Characteristics of Kopi Flores Bajawa