by Margery Farrand
It starts with the harvest
Coffee beans ripen at various rates, so one branch will usually have both green as well as red beans on it. To get the very best good quality coffee, expert pickers will thoroughly pick only the ripest beans from every tree, leaving the younger beans for later.
Pulping and drying
When the beans have been pulped they are laid out under the sun to dry up. This drying procedure usually takes about a week, as the beans should attain a moisture content of not more than 10%. Special drying houses are usually built to expose the coffee to sunlight while keeping it from rain. Furthermore, the coffee must be raked each and every few hours to turn the beans and promote even drying.
Hulling and roasting
Once the coffee is hulled it should be categorized. The sorting process classifies beans according to weight and size utilizing a gravity table. Once the coffee is categorized it gets on to the roasting process. Roasting is performed as close to the period of sale as possible to prevent deterioration of the flavor. Roasted coffee may be light, medium, full, or somewhere in between. In the end, about 8 pounds of coffee cherry enter into making one pound of roasted coffee.
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