Coffee beans go through these steps before meeting coffee

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coffee exporters
two coffee cup on wooden plate in coffee shop angle view shot on dark background

Coffee is one of the very few things in the world that has the lowest number of haters. You can find very few people who do not like this delicious drink. A fresh and warm cup of coffee has the power to drown all your stress for a while. Whether it’s your daily choice of morning beverage or casual evening sipping, coffee holds a special place in our hearts.

But you’ll be amazed to know what a fresh coffee bean goes through to become the dark-colored power in that pretty box. Chances are, if you are a reader of this article, you don’t know how a fresh coffee bean looks like. The coffee you enjoy every day in your cup has taken a long ride from its birth. Coffee exporters are in charge of supplying processes of coffee beans to other countries. Some coffee exporters manage the total production process. While some only just take care of exporting the product. Coffee beans go through these steps to get ready for exportation:

1. Planting

Very obviously, every natural edible product is grown on the earth’s crust. Every coffee bean that is not sent for processing and consumption is suitable for plantation. To make a fruitful coffee tree, coffee seeds are planted in large beds. The seedlings are needed to be watered frequently in their initial stages and shaded from intense sunlight until they grow up to a certain point. Coffee beans are generally planted during the wet season when the soil remains moist. The moist soil makes it easier for the new-born roots to grasp it.

2. Harvesting

Coffee trees take a while to bear fruit. It takes about 3-4 years for a newly planted coffee tree to produce coffee cherries. These cherries turn deep red when ripe and they are harvested at this stage. There are two ways to harvest coffee beans: a) Strip picking: All the cherries of a single branch are stripped off at one go. This process is preferred when all or a maximum number of the beans are ripe and ready to harvest. Both machine and manual processes can be used in this method. b) Selective picking: Nature is beautiful but not perfect. So all the cherries of a branch may not become ripe at once. The ripe ones are picked by hand leaving behind the unripe ones. Pickers check repeatedly on a length of 8-10 days to see if the remaining ones are ready for harvesting.

3. Processing

To prevent spoilage, coffee beans are immediately sent for processing. Depending on the resources and traditions, the beans are processed in two methods:

a) Dry method: The freshly picked cherries are spread out under the sun to make them dry. They are raked and turned throughout the day to allow even and proper drying.

b) Wet method: To separate the pulp and the skin, fresh coffee beans are passed through pulping machines. When they pass through the water channels, the beans are separated according to their weight. Unripe beans are light therefore floats while the ripe ones are heavy and therefore sink. Then they are passed through a rotating drum that has holes of various sizes. Coffee beans are sorted according to their size in this step.

After separation, the beans are transferred to large fermentation tanks. The beans will remain in these tanks for 12 to 48 hours to eliminate the layer of mucilage attached to the parchment. Natural enzymes grow in the beans while they rest in these tanks. These enzymes dissolve the mucilage layer.

4. Milling

Before exporting, parchment coffee is milled. Hulling machines eliminate the parchment layer from the wet-processed coffee. While in dry-processed coffee, the entire dried husk (known as exocarp, mesocarp, and endocarp) is removed.

5. Exporting

Like the producers, coffee exporters have a lot to do as they are one of the main components of the supply chain. The exporters buy unprocessed coffee from producers and get it processed.

To get the best price, coffee exporters need to search through the competitive market to find buyers that offer a good price. This requires constant monitoring of market prices.

Coffee comes in various qualities and sizes. Hence, sorting the coffee beans is necessary. After that, it is sent for grading. The coffee exporters need to measure the weight, evaluate the humidity of the beans and determine their resting time. After going through all necessary evaluation processes, the coffee exporter has to give a quality grade to the coffee. Finally, different grades of coffee are sold at different prices.