Coffee: the path from the plantation to your cup

Coffee: the path from the plantation to your cup

Coffee is much more than what we drink: we show you its journey from the plantation to the cup of espresso we consume every day.

coffee espresso drink in three sips and it takes a lifetime to understand. It is not an aphorism, but a simple awareness that emerges after starting to grasp what happens between the plantation and the cup . We have divided the steps that bring the coffee into our cups into 4 phases that correspond to the state of the coffee at that moment. We will first talk about coffee as a plant, then about its fruit, the drupe, and about the bean we all know, to finally get to the drink.


  1. Sowing . The seeds of the coffee plant are planted: after 4-5 years the fruits are ready for picking . There is an exception, a variety that is harvested but, generally, not sown: it is called Heirloom and is a mix of several wild varieties indigenous to Ethiopia, including many not cataloged.
  2. Collection . Harvesting the drupes is quite laborious and is often done by hand. There are two ways: all the more or less ripe drupes present on the branches are collected (an operation that can be carried out by a machine) or only the best, redder ones are selected. Proceeding by hand and over several days, the harvest will be more homogeneous and uniform.
  3. Processing of the drupe . It is the moment of transformation: the fruit, drupe, is progressively stripped until it reaches the two seeds that are facing each other (a single seed, in the exceptional case of the peaberry ). The coffee cherry, in fact, is made up of different layers: the external peel or exocarp, the pulp or mesocarp, a layer of mucilage and one of pectin which are loaded with sugars and very important during fermentation, finally the parchment and the silver skin.. All these layers must be removed during processing to prevent the grain from deteriorating. Briefly, we will say that the process can take place through a natural, washed or semi-washed method. At the end of this step, which includes drying and decortication, we will have the green coffee bean.
  4. Coffee bean grading . It is the phase in which the quality of the bean and the price it will have on the market (or the basis from which the coffee auction starts ) is established. The beans are mostly selected manually and with the help of some tools (such as optical sorters), those with obvious defects are identified and discarded. This is the step of cupping .
  5. Export . Naked beans , now called green coffee , cross the oceans on cargo ships. Inside the containers, the raw coffee rests in jute or sisal bags . Some special batches have an additional internal lining of micro-perforated plastic, to protect the precious beans and prevent them from losing or acquiring too much moisture and absorbing unpleasant odors from the container or from the jute bag itself.
  6. Roasting . Our green coffee has counted hours: when it reaches its destination from the roaster , it will undergo a further transformation and from a spongy and hard seed more than a stone (which smells of peas, I add) it will become a crumbly, brown bean with the scent that we all know.
  7. Grinding and extraction . Just before extraction with the chosen method, the coffee is grinded paying attention to the particle size (very fine espresso; coarser filter coffee; mocha about halfway between the two). Then it’s The Moment , the special one: sit down, drink your coffee, perhaps with more awareness of what’s behind it.

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