SINGLE ORIGIN COFFEE
Discover more about coffee: the term “Single Origin” means that the beans come from one place only, from a certain region in one Country. Single Origin coffees tend to be exclusively seasonal and produced to a lesser extent, they typically have a distinct flavor and unique characteristics based on the growing and processing conditions of that region.
MAIN COFFEE SPECIES
Coffee beans are the seeds inside the fruit of the coffee tree, called the Cherry. It is about the size of a cranberry and has an outer skin that is dark red when ripe. Most of coffee cherries contain two seeds which face each other inside the berry, becoming flattened along one side as they develop. Underneath the skin is the pulp, or mucilage, a sticky substance surrounding the coffee bean that is so high in sugar that it tastes sweet if you bite into it. Coffee beans are wrapped in parchment, a thin papery layer that must be removed during processing and under that is the silverskin, even thinner layer that comes off, for the most part, during roasting.
All cherries start out green and develop deeper colours as the fruit matures. Usually the skin is deep red when ripe. Some trees have yellow fruit so a cross between red and yellow will yield orange fruit.
Depending on climate and elevation, coffee might be grown under shade trees or without shade like in Brazil. Trees start producing fruit at three or four years of age, making the decision to being growing coffee is not that easy. The coffee plant continues to produce flowers, white blossom flowers and ripe cherries throughout the fruiting season, which results in repeated crops. In some regions the fruiting season lasts a few months, in others about six months. Because of the long fruiting season, some of the cherries are ripe while some others are green or underripe or even overripe all at the same time.
Harvesting only ripe cherries is directly related to the coffee price. Yields average around 1/1.5 kg of green coffee per tree per year.
After harvesting, coffee cherries are sent to a mill, where starts what can have a massive impact on the cup quality, processing.
Natural process, or dry, is the original way of processing coffee. Coffee cherries are spread out on raised beds or brick patios to dry in the sun. The cherries must be turned regularly to prevent mould. Once the coffee is properly dry, the outer husk of skin and dried fruit is removed mechanically, at this point the green coffee is ready to be stored.
Usually the result is a coffee with more body and less acidity.
Washed process, the cherries are sent through a pulping machine which removes the skin leaving the sticky mucilage to the bean. The beans are then soaked in tanks with water for a few times and gently agitated. They are then allowed to ferment for hours or a few days so that the pulp falls off. After fermentation the beans are then rinsed and washed before spreading them on patios or raised beds to dry, usually for a period of 1 week.
Usually the result is a coffee with high acidity and elegance.
Pulped natural or Honey process, is a cross between washed and dry process. The cherries are pulped as in the washed process but instead of soaking, the beans are spread on large tables with the mucilage still surrounding them for a period of five days to two weeks.
Usually the result is a coffee with a good body and low acidity without those typic fruit notes of the dry process.
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