The place of growth, the so-called terroir, is a place with its own microclimate, height of growth, day and night temperatures, the presence or absence of trees that create partial shade. All of these factors will affect how the crop will ripen, how long and how many microelements will be formed in it. A very important factor! Therefore, the same coffee variety grown in different terroirs will have its own taste characteristics.
A type of coffee tree, a genetic feature that affects the shape of the plant and berry, yield and characteristics of taste and aroma.
THE THIRD FACTOR
Collection of berries. Of course, the berries from the trees still need to be collected, the riper and more uniform they are, the tastier and cleaner the cup of coffee will be. On flat areas of plantations, special equipment is often used for collection. This saves time and money, but often gives an average result, since the coffee berries do not ripen all at once, and the machine harvest removes all the berries from the tree at once. In mountainous areas of growth, this method is not applicable, and pickers, berry pickers, come to the rescue. As we said, the berries do not ripen evenly and at times, berry pickers have to approach the same tree up to 8 times to collect all the ripe berries. This greatly increases the quality of this crop, but also its cost.
Processing of harvested berries or fermentation. We need to get to the seed, it is this that we will fry and brew in the future. At the moment, there are many ways of processing, and every year coffee enthusiasts continue to experiment, trying to emphasize one or another aspect of taste and aroma. Therefore, we will only talk about the main ones, and this is a natural and washed way. With the natural method, coffee berries are dried along with the pulp and some of the sugars pass into the seed, making it sweeter and adding fruit and berry notes. The grains are dried in the sun until the pulp can be separated using a machine. In the washed method, water is used to separate the grains from the pulp. The berries are loaded into a machine, which is called a depulpator, in which the pulp is separated from the grain. Next, the grains are placed in containers with water, in which they are fermented. The duration of the fermentation process and the amount of water varies greatly depending on the region and manufacturer, but the goal is the same: to remove gluten from the grains — the next layer after the pulp. After fermentation, gluten is easily removed from the grain by washing with water. As soon as the grain is cleaned, the water is drained, and the grain is dried in the sun, stirring occasionally for slow and even drying. With this method, it is easier to control the process, as a result of which the quality of individual batches is more constant. The aroma and taste of the drink is cleaner, it reveals the refined characteristics of a certain region, and the acidity (sourness) is higher than that of the natural processing method. Minor damage during processing; uneven, too fast or slow drying can easily spoil the coffee.
THE FIFTH FACTOR
Storage and transportation. Dried coffee must rest before transport. And here it is important to ensure the correct storage conditions: monitor the temperature, humidity and amount of light. At this stage, the processing station employees bring (dry) the water content inside the grains to 11%, this is the optimal value that ensures the storage of the crop without worries about it. Then the patchwork must be removed from the green grains and packed for transportation. If you do it inaccurately or choose bad packaging, again, you can spoil the coffee. It is better to pack green coffee in dense GrainPro bags or vacuum bags, this will ensure the stability of humidity and will not allow external odors to penetrate into the coffee during long transportation to the country of destination.
THE SIXTH FACTOR
Roasting. Before you put the grain on sale, it must be roasted. Green beans sometimes have a bright amazing aroma, but as long as the components inside are in an insoluble form, it makes no sense to brew green coffee. Roasting not only makes the components soluble (capable of being extracted), but also creates wonderful new aromas and flavor notes in coffee. You’re probably already familiar with the concept of light, medium, and dark roasts. But who decides how hard to roast coffee and what exactly these words mean. The first thing to realize is that «dark», «light» and «medium» do not refer to a specific roast time. Roasters approach each batch individually and test a series of roast profiles until the optimum result is achieved.
Brewing. And this topic requires a separate consideration, because everything is not as simple as it might seem at first glance. The main criterion will be, as always, aroma and taste. Here you should pay attention to the water you use, its mineral composition and temperature. Each cooking method, be it a cezve or a funnel, has its own characteristics, and this also provides a field for experimentation. An important point is the technical component, for example, coffee grinders with burrs give a much more uniform grinding and, as a result, an interesting and clean taste.
Lovers and connoisseurs of coffee beans, welcome to the world of coffee, the world of an incredible variety of aromas and tastes, which is ready to surprise you, ready to give you a lot of emotions and impressions!