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How Coffee Comes To Your Shelf From The Beans

May 24, 2008
Coffee bean processing, since its origins more than two thousand years before, is a dollar value commodity and a close second only to petroleum in the worldwide market.

The two main classes the plant is classified into from its countless varieties of beans are:

the Robusta, with a twice count of caffeine measure in it and the Arabica, originally cropped in the Peninsula of Arab.

Coffee berry, the bean inside the cherry, is valued and not the fruit unlike in the case of wine. For consumption worldwide in 400 million cups each day the bean is brewed after aging, roasting and grounding.

Green and red are the two main varieties the beans come in and to produce the finer coffee, the latter is used due to its lower acid content and higher aromatic oil. So, picking is a vital step during the life cycle of bean to shelf.

Soaking, scouring and mechanical rubbing are the steps to remove the fruit after picking. To clean the bean from any leftover flesh it is washed. After producing beans with 12% water content in this 'fermentation' stage it is sun-dried over rock slabs or large concrete.

At times by hand but increasingly often by machines the beans are sorted by their size and color. To remove the skins some beans are polished while others are discarded. While some are sent to be roasted within a year, other selected type beans are then aged from three to eight years.

After a few weeks later, the resulting beans are then grounded and here to differentiations persists in results and styles. To crush the beans in some case to a consistent-sized granule, 'burr' grinders are used. A less homogeneous-sized result emerges when beans are chopped into small pieces with choppers. Mortar and pestle used for pounding the beans create the powdery consistency for Turkish coffee.

Techniques and styles of brewing nearly match as compared to the countless brewers in numbers. Nevertheless, the four groups the fine differences classify are: steeping, gravity, pressure and boiling.

Settling or filtering after hot water is run through the grounds is done in 'boiling'. Forcing slightly-less-than-boiling-hot water through the grounds at high pressure as in espresso is known as pressure methods. Hot water is dripped onto coffee grounds and filters in 'drip brew' or gravity. Same as the tea bags method with the difference being the usage of larger bags is what steeping is all about.

Making up one of the world's most treasured drinks, coffee beans have gone through a long journey from jungles or mountains. As new research indicate that moderate consumption can have health benefits, so for this effort there is a greater reason for one to be grateful. So, coffee must be cheered!
About the Author
Peter Mason usually publishes detailed reports on topics similar to cappuccino makers. His articles on how to make cappuccino are found on http://www.coffee-espresso-maker-tips.com/cappuccino-makers.html .
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