Coffee, the fuel that kickstarts our day and powers our late-night work, starts its journey not in our mugs, but in the landscapes of a coffee bean farm. In this blog post, we'll go through how exactly a coffee farm works, and where exactly your cup of coffee comes from.
Basics of a Coffee Farm
A coffee farm, often in the mountainous regions within the coffee belt, is a world teeming with life. The first phase of the journey starts with planting the coffee seed. Typically, this process takes place during the rainy season when the soil is at its most fertile. The seeds are sown about 1.5 inches deep in nurseries, and in about 60 days, these sprout into coffee seedlings.
Once the seedlings are robust enough - usually after a year, they're transplanted to the coffee field. The young coffee trees are spaced apart to allow each tree to flourish with ample sunlight and rainwater.
The coffee tree is a perennial that will start to bear fruit, known as coffee cherries, after 3 to 4 years. Each cherry houses the precious coffee bean. When the cherries turn from green to a deep, glossy red, it signifies ripeness and it's time for harvesting.
Harvesting can be done in two ways - selective picking and strip picking. Selective picking is a meticulous process where only the ripe cherries are handpicked. In contrast, strip picking involves stripping all cherries off the branch, regardless of their ripeness.
After harvest, the real work begins. The coffee beans are processed either through the dry method (sun-drying the cherries) or the wet method (removing the pulp and fermenting the beans). Both methods have a significant impact on the flavour of the coffee.
Once the beans are processed and dried, they are sorted and graded based on size and weight. The graded beans are then bagged and transported to coffee roasters worldwide, where they are transformed into the aromatic coffee we all know and love.
As you sip your next cup of coffee, take a moment to appreciate the journey it has made, from a humble seed in the soil of a distant coffee farm, through nurturing hands, all the way to your cup. And remember, each sip carries with it, the rich tapestry of the coffee farm's story.