The Coffee Bean Journey

Sep 14, 2021 | Coffee

Coffee is one of the World’s most traded commodities. Coffee production, farming and processing are continually advancing with a continual focus on improving the quality of the coffee green beans. The increasing sophistication in consumer demand requires that coffee bean production incorporates the nuanced flavours of their ‘terroir’ into the cup.

The coffee beans that we encounter are largely divided between two varietals, Robusta beans and Arabica beans.  Robusta coffee plants are grown at lower altitude and are more resilient to frost and disease but their flavours are less complex and subtle than Arabica beans. Robusta beans have a stronger flavour with more caffeine and are typically used in instant coffee.  Arabica beans are grown at higher altitudes in mountainous areas and tend to be what is used for speciality coffee and accounts for approximately 60% of the world’s production.

A coffee tree takes between 3 and 5 years for it to mature and produce coffee cherries. Like most plants, the coffee tree flowers and when pollinated, produces the cherry.  The coffee cherry is allowed to ripen on the tree and picked when it turns red. The ripe cherries are processed which involves drying and sorting. Key factors influencing flavour at this stage are the drying methods used, whether natural or mechanical, humidity, stirring, airflow and the avoidance of additional water. Even the surface on which the coffee is dried can impact the final flavour.

Once dried the coffee beans (known as green beans) are graded by Q graders and packed and sent on their merry way around the world for blending and roasting.  The reason why they tend not to be roasted in the country of origin is to allow for further blending to achieve a particular taste profile and also to ensure that the coffee does not unduly deteriorate during transport as a result of oxidation which greatly impacts the taste of the coffee during brewing.

All of our coffees are 100% high grade speciality Arabica coffee beans to give a range of flavours to suit your offering.   We are always experimenting with new blends to give our range the extra edge, like to find out more?  Drop us a line on info@watermark.ieor call us on 01 4666304.

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