Posts Tagged ‘arabica’

Friday, August 15th, 2008

From Crop to Cup

By Emily Oak

beans on hessian bagThe coffee we know and love as a golden or dark brown aromatic bean, starts off very differently. For coffee, from crop to cup, there is quite a complex journey and every step will affect its final flavour.

The coffee bean as we know it, is actually the seed of a cherry which grows on the tall bushy coffee tree, with the two main species being Arabica and Robusta. Arabica makes up a large percentage of the world consumption – about 70% while the more gutsy Robusta is most commonly used as a booster in some espresso blends or for making instant coffee.To get from the cherry on the tree to the bean ready for grinding, there are a number of steps that need to occur.

The first is ‘processing’ – whereby the outer layers of the cherry are removed to reveal the bean or seed inside. There are four layers that need to be removed – the skin, the flesh, the parchment and the silverskin. The way that these outer layers are removed greatly affects the flavour of the bean as the sugars can be either transferred into or out of the bean. (more…)