To keep it simple, there are 10 stages that coffee goes through to transform from a fruit on a tree into the delicious beverage that we enjoy everyday.
Climate, environment, weather, pests, human waste, soil health, etc…there are so many factors that must be managed on the farm to make sure the coffee gets the right amount of sun, shade, water, and nutrients to develop its flavor profile while still on the tree
While still on the tree, coffee grows in different waves and at different rates each year. To make sure that only ripe cherries are picked our farmers monitor each tree closely to selectively pick each cherry at the right time.
Each coffee lot has different characteristics. Based on those characteristics there are various ways to process the coffee cherries. They can be processed in water, naturally dried by the sun, or fermented to draw out a certain flavor profile. There is a lot of attention given throughout each step of each process
In order to get the bean ready for roasting it must go through a process of having its pulp, mucilage, and parchment removed. There are different ways to do this and they all take careful attention
Once the beans complete the previous stages they are ready to roast. Roasting is a very tedious process which employs thousands of people all across the globe. It is a very delicate art that can ruin a high quality bean if the right variables are not monitored and tended to with each roast
Packaging must be done at the right time and the right way or a perfectly grown, processed, and roasted bean can spoil or lose its flavor
Since virtually no coffee is grown on the US mainland, most coffee takes a risky journey spanning land and sea. It must meet global standards and pass through multi-national checkpoints before it is deemed a salable product by the US government.
Few people realize how important this phase is to enjoy a quality cup of coffee. If everything has been successful up until this point and the coffee is ground to the wrong size according to the method in which it will be brewed it can ruin what eventually makes its way into your cup.
Are you drinking an espresso? French press? Chemex? Depending on how you want to enjoy your java there are a myriad of different brewing styles. Whichever method you prefer it is only going to be as good as the attention given all of the previous stages of the value chain
You can enjoy a simple cup of coffee at home or in a café by a trained barista who serves you a cup in accordance with the gold cup standard. You can enjoy it black or with specialty syrups and creams. You can enjoy it hot or cold and nitrogen infused. However you like your coffee it has provided jobs to hundreds of people by the time it makes its way into your cup