When you think of the coffee you drink, do you think of green coffee beans?
When you buy coffee, what's in your bag is very dark in color and has a very aromatic smell. But it doesn't start that way.
Coffee comes in the form of green coffee beans that grow on the coffee plant. These green coffee beans are then collected from coffee plantations and are sent to places to be roasted, ground and finely crushed to make the coffee powder that you are use to purchasing at your local store.
The Processes that Green Coffee Beans Undergo
There is a process that these green coffee beans must go through before they actually become coffee powder. The beans must be picked from the coffee plantations. This is usually done by hand by laborers who get paid for each basket that they pick. Since coffee beans have a fruity flesh that directly wraps around the coffee bean, once they are gathered this flesh has to be removed right away. This is done by soaking the beans, scouring them and then mechanically rubbing the bean.
Once the green coffee bean is free from its fruity flesh it is then cleaned with water. This is done in order to remove any of the fruity flesh that may still be sticking to it, as well as any additional sugars that are on it. The beans are then dried by spreading them over a large concrete or rock plane where they are dried by a combination of the air and direct sunlight.
After the beans have been dried it is time for the beans to be put into categories that are based upon the color and the size of the coffee bean. Any beans that are discolored, decayed or damaged are removed from the other beans at this point.
When the beans are finally dried, they are then roasted. If you want an aromatic cup of coffee, this process is important. During the roasting process, the coffee bean will actually expand to nearly twice that of what its initial size was. It will also change color and density as it takes in heat. The coffee bean turns to yellow and then to a light cinnamon brown. At this point the coffee beans will start to crack, just like popcorn does.
As coffee is grown in different parts of the world, varying climate conditions and other factors also play a role in how the beans are processed. The final product is then crushed into the savory coffee powder which we are accustomed to seeing.