Coffee, Coffee Process

The Life of the Coffee Bean

We all know about the joys of drinking a hot cup of freshly roasted coffee in the morning, but how does that delicious coffee bean get to that stage? We at Coffee Tales want to share with you the journey that our coffee beans go through to offer you the highest quality around!


Coffee beans surprisingly are actually seeds, they go through a long process of being dried, roasted and ground. However if they are left to grow in natural sunlight and unprocessed, they will grow into a coffee plant. The seeds are generally planted in large shaded beds and in the case of organically grown seeds, they are canopied under large shade trees. Each seed is given time to sprout and then left to grow in pots after a few days in optimal soil for growth.



Coffee beans start off as a fruit, these are commonly called coffee cherries and vary in colour with green being unripe and dark red being the ripest of the bunch. Generally it takes around 3-4 years for newely planted coffee bushes to start producing these cherries. Coffee beans can either be hand-harvested or where there is large amounts of flat land, machine harvested. To get the most ripeness and the best tasting coffee, you need dedicated workers to make sure they are checking each cherry because they have differing mature periods.


Coffee Cherry Processing

There are two different methods for processing cherries, these include the dry method and the wet method.

Dry Method

An ancient method and one that is mostly used where water is not as accessible. It is also known as ‘unwashed’ or ‘natural’ processing and involves spreading out the cherries on a large surface, then leaving it to dry in the sun for 15 to 20 days. Obviously this method is very reliant on the weather, so each batch of cherries can vary in time of processing.

Wet Method

The other method and one that is relatively new, involves removing the skin from the coffee cherries. It uses water (hence the name) to move the coffee fruit through the process and to extract the beans. This method involves cleaning the cherries and removing any unripe or overripe cherries. They then get put through a pulping machine that squeezes out the skin without damaging the beans. Any coffee cherries left with the skin intact means that they are not ripe enough.


Coffee Milling Process

Once the coffee cherries are processed and dried they go through hulling, polishing, and grading. Each of these steps are used to find the best coffee cherries and removing any unneccesary parts of the coffee bean. This process can be excruciatingly long and tedious, but is a must for making sure that you are getting the highest quality coffee beans. At the end of the milling process, the finest beans are packaged and sold off to high end markets.

Coffee Roasting

Before the coffee beans are ready for sale to the consumers, they have to go through the roasting period. Unroasted coffee is known as green coffee and have yet to reach there flavourful-selves. Roasting is generally at a temperature of around 550F and is constantly being turned to avoid any burning that could occur. At this point the coffee bean is left to dry and turns into a yellow colour with a slight roasting smell starting to form. The final stage takes place when the bean has gone through a stage called the ‘first crack’ where it doubles in size and starts turning brown. This is when the roasting can begin and gives it the fantastic aroma that we have come to love. It can then be light, medium or dark roasted to the preference of the consumer.

Coffee beans roasting


There is so much time and love put into creating the perfect coffee bean, it really emphasizes just how much effort goes into creating the perfect cup of coffee. At Coffee Tales we want to create that magnificient moment of your first sip of freshly grounded coffee every day, by offering you the highest quality coffee beans.


The process of coffee production: from seed to cup

One thought on “The Life of the Coffee Bean

  1. Rita says:

    Super interesting!

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