What is coffee – From coffee berry to coffee moment

All over the world drink Coffee for centuries. But how does a coffee berry become a coffee moment? We explain the process.

It is a natural product and is prepared from the seeds/seeds of the coffee plant. We call these seeds coffee beans. The fruit of the coffee plant is in fact a berry. However, this berry looks so much like a bean that people have come to call it coffee beans. It grows in berries on shrubs that need a mix of sun, humidity, height and rich soil.

Coffee is a natural product and is prepared from the seeds
What is coffee and why do we love it

Most coffee plantations are therefore located around the equator. This tropical belt is also called the coffee belt. Around 70 countries produce coffee and more than 500 million people are directly or indirectly involved in the coffee trade.

The two best-known coffee plants are arabica and robusta. The former is used most often and contains less caffeine than the more spicy robusta. Only after 5 years can you pick the first berries from a coffee plant.

After harvesting the coffee berries, they are stripped of the outer layer. Each berry consists of two half seeds, coffee beans. These green beans can be extracted from the berry in two ways:

  • Washed coffee (wet method)

The berries are dipped in water, pressed through a grid and then fermented and dried.

  • Unwashed method (dry method)

The berries are laid to dry in the sun so that the berry bursts and the beans can be removed.

After drying, the beans are roasted. Hereby, the sugars in the bean are caramelized and coffee oil is created that provides the aroma and taste of the coffee. There are different levels of branding, from light burned to very dark burned. The temperature and duration of the roasting determine the color, taste, and consistency of the beans and therefore has a major influence on the taste of your cup of coffee.

 The hotter and longer the beans are roasted, the darker the bean and the deeper the taste will become.

The beans are ground after roasting. For the best taste, it is recommended that the grinding of the beans is done as short as possible before brewing the coffee. Also when grinding applies again that there are different varieties in the grind, from very fine (for espresso or filter coffee) to semi-coarse.

three women with coffee

Where does coffee come from

Coffee plants grow in countries with a tropical or sub-tropical climate. The ideal growing conditions are an average temperature that is between 17º C and 23º C, a lot of precipitation and a fertile soil. In addition, the Robusta plant grows from sea level while the Arabica plant can only grow from 800 meters.

The current ‘coffee belt’ is located in the zone around the equator, between 23º north latitude and 25º south latitude and contains approximately 70 coffee producing countries. The largest coffee producer is Brazil, which supplies more than a quarter of the total world production.

Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world

Arabian countries

Brazil (with a soft, milk chocolate and nutty flavor), Colombia, Mexico and the Central American countries (mostly fresh-sour, fruity aromas), Kenya and other East African countries such as Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi (with floral, ripe fruit aromas), but also from India and Indonesia (these have spicy characters).

Robustage areas

West Africa (Ivory Coast and Togo) and East Africa (Uganda and Tanzania), with a soft and sweet character, Indonesia, India, Laos and Vietnam (a more spicy character), Brazil (with dark, bitter chocolate tones).

Coffee

Types of coffee

In addition to espressos, there are dozens of other types of coffee. Therefore below an overview with some of the best known coffees.

  • Espresso

The espresso is a shot of extra concentrated coffee and leads to a strong, bitter coffee. Traditionally in a tiny cup.

  • Americano

The americano consists of a shot of espresso to which extra hot water is added.

  • Cappuccino

Just like the americano, the classic cappuccino consists of a shot of espresso. Only now is a portion of milk and a portion of milk foam added.

  • Cafe latte

This is a coffee with a lot of milk. But with foam on it.

  • Cafe mocha

A type of coffee to which a shot of chocolate milk or syrup is added.

  • Ristretto

A ristretto is even more concentrated than an espresso. The same amount of ground beans is used, but with less water. Half to be precise.

  • Filter coffee

It is often made at home. The water trickles down through ground beans and a coffee filter.

  • Irish Coffee

A coffee with whiskey, brown sugar and fresh cream.

  • Iced coffee

Nowadays every type of coffee is also available in a cold version: iced coffee. Ideal when the weather is warm.

The taste of coffee

There are a lot of factors that influence the taste. Just think of the type of coffee bean, the way the farmer takes care of the it, how the beans are roasted and ground, and of course how it is made.

We have just revealed another factor that influences the taste of coffee: the environment (also known as terroir). For example, the type of soil, climate, and altitude affect the taste of the coffee.

For example, the type of soil and its quality are characteristic of the taste. Because even if you grow the same type of coffee at the same height and in the same climate, but with a different ground, you still get a coffee with a very different taste.

The climate also has a lot of influence on taste. The amount of rain influences the taste of the coffee. And as indicated earlier, the height at which arabica coffee grows influences quality.