Coffee is a shrub with evergreen leaves and a main stem that can grow up to 10 meters tall when growing in the wild. The fruit from a coffee tree is a cherry, normally containing two seeds (sometimes, when a plant is less fertile, only one seed is formed, called a peaberry).
Coffee is grown from 600-6000 feet in altitude. Cultivation, soil and altitude all play a part in the quality of the coffee. 80% of coffee comes from small farms 6-12 acres. Rural communities depend on coffee as their income.
Coffee is harvested by either stripping the cherry or selective picking. It is then sifted and sorted for processing. It is then pulped to remove the seed (bean) and then the bean is dried. Drying can take place outside on the patio or in drying beds or can be dried in a heated drum.
The coffee is then deparched, cleaned and sorted to get ready for shipment. Coffee is shipped in containers by cargo boat to the USA. It is cleared by customs and the FDA and sent to warehouse.
Before coffee is purchased it is cupped and scored for quality. Customers use scoring values and cupping notes to help determine green bean purchases.
After purchase the coffee is roasted, roasting is both a science and an art.
Freshness, speed and proper packaging ensure delivery of quality product to consumer or coffee retailer.
Retail coffee provides highest quality preparation to the consumer.
The quality of choices made at every step define the quality of the cup that is raised by the consumer.
Good water, proper grinding and simple brewing methods using fresh roasted, high quality coffee can produce excellent coffees in home.