Making a mug of coffee might seem like the easiest thing in the world. But have you thought of all the people who are part of making that coffee? There are around 60 million people involved in the coffee industry across the globe. That’s a lot of people’s hard work and passion going into your mug of coffee!
It All Starts With Coffee Plantations
It all starts on the plantations, where farmers tend to the coffee plants and harvest the coffee cherries, usually by hand. Next, they separate the bean from the outer fruit of the cherry. This is done by either hulling them or by washing them in a pulping machine and then drying the beans in the sun. Once dry, the beans have a greenish colour and are called ‘green beans’. It’s in this state they are usually exported for blending and roasting.
The most important phase of coffee production is roasting. But before the green beans can be roasted, the different mixes, or blends, of coffee beans need to be created. By combining different types of beans it’s possible to create a more rounded taste in the resulting coffee.
It is not until the green beans are roasted that they release the coffee aroma and flavour. Depending on the roasting equipment and the desired flavour of the coffee, green beans are roasted at between 180°C and 240°C for between three and 12 minutes.
Ground and Brewed
Before it can be brewed, the roasted coffee must be ground. Grinding increases the surface area of the coffee, allowing the flavour to be extracted more easily.
To make soluble coffee, the ground coffee is brewed and then dried. The coffee can be dried using hot air or first frozen and then gently heated under vacuum.
Finally the coffee is packed and sent to the stores.