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Where do coffee beans come from?

Where do coffee beans come from?

Unveiling the Origins of Coffee Beans: So where do our coffee beans come from?
Coffee, the elixir of productivity for millions worldwide, starts its journey obscured within the cherry-like fruits of the coffee plant. The story of how coffee beans transition from being part of a verdant bush in equatorial lands to becoming the centerpiece of our morning rituals is as rich and complex as the beverage itself. Below, we unravel the journey of coffee beans, tracing their origins and the processes they undergo before transforming into the aromatic delight we cherish.

The Equatorial Belt: Cradle of Coffee
Coffee plants thrive in the "bean belt," an equatorial zone that spans the globe. This belt includes regions in South America, Africa, and Asia, with notable contributors such as Brazil, Ethiopia, Colombia, and Vietnam. Each of these locations offers unique climate conditions that significantly influence the flavour profile of the coffee beans produced, creating a diverse palette of tastes and aromas.

Ethiopia: Birthplace of Arabica Coffee
Legend has it that coffee was discovered by a goat herder named Kaldi in Ethiopia, who noticed his goats frolicking energetically after eating the red berries from a certain bush. Ethiopia is renowned for its Arabica coffee, which is considered by many to be the more refined and flavourful variant of coffee. The country’s varied elevations and climates contribute to a wide range of taste profiles, making Ethiopian coffee highly prized.

Brazil: The Coffee Powerhouse
Brazil stands as the largest producer of coffee in the world, a title it has held for over 150 years. Primarily growing Arabica beans, Brazil also produces significant quantities of Robusta, a variety known for its stronger and more bitter flavour. The vast size of the country allows for a variety of climates and soils, resulting in a broad range of coffee types.

The Journey of the Bean: From Plantation to Cup

Coffee plants require a specific set of conditions to flourish, including rich soil, adequate rainfall, and protection from harsh sunlight. These conditions are found predominantly in the mountains of the bean belt. After planting, it takes approximately 3-4 years for a coffee plant to begin producing fruit.

Coffee cherries are typically harvested either by hand, which allows for selective picking of ripe fruits, or by machines. The timing of the harvest is crucial to ensure the beans have developed their full flavor potential.

Once harvested, the coffee beans must be extracted from the cherry and dried. This can be done in several ways, including the dry method, where cherries are laid out in the sun to dry, and the wet method, which involves removing the pulp of the cherry before drying the bean.

Roasting transforms the green coffee beans into the brown beans we are familiar with. This process is crucial for developing the bean’s flavour profile, with different roasting techniques and durations resulting in a spectrum of flavor strengths and characteristics.

Grinding and Brewing
The final step in the journey of coffee beans is grinding, which prepares them for brewing. The grind size, combined with the brewing method, will determine the final taste of the coffee.

A Sip of Culture
Every cup of coffee carries within it stories of distant lands, intricate cultivation practices, and meticulous processing techniques. It serves not only as a testament to the labor and expertise involved in its production but also as a bridge connecting diverse cultures through a shared love for this enchanting beverage.

Our morning cup of coffee is a daily ritual that connects us with a complex and global journey that starts with a simple bean. So, the next time you indulge in your coffee, take a moment to appreciate the journey it has undergone, from the lush fields of the equatorial belt to the comforting warmth of your cup.

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