Contrary to what your mother may have told you, coffee does not
grow in a can. Your morning cup begins its life on a coffee
farm, growing from a tree. The coffee “fruit” is known as a
cherry until it is hulled, revealing the bean itself. The cherries
are handpicked from the trees. After harvesting, the coffee beans
are pulped to remove the soft flesh and then the beans are fermented
in water for 10 to 36 hours. The beans are then washed and dried in
the sun. This process is labor intensive, expensive and time
consuming for the farmers. (It truly is amazing that coffee doesn’t
cost $100 or more per pound.) Finally, the coffee is shipped to the
roaster in its green bean form (Yes, the beans are literally green
before they are roasted.)
So how do we roast the beans you ask? Hint: take a gander to your
left. What you see is a YM5 drum roaster. The green coffee beans are
heated in the large rotating drum, using temperatures of about 450
F. The tumbling motion of the drum prevents the beans from burning.
Roasting is not an exact science. It requires an artists touch.
Roast masters use sight, sound, and smell to decide when the beans
are roasted to perfection. Timing is everything. Roasting time
affects the color and flavor of the final brew, so the length of the
roasting period depends on the type of coffee desired (shorter for
drip coffee, longer for espresso).
It is during the roasting process that the flavor of the bean is
developed. However that flavor has an enemy, oxygen. Coffee should
be stored in air tight containers in a dark dry place for maximum
freshness but even under optimum conditions, coffee begins to stale
in as little as 7 days. Stale? Yes, stale. Most of the coffee
Americans consume every single day is indeed stale. Americans traded
fresh coffee for convenience when we bought into the canned coffee
craze. Burlap and Bean is committed to restoring America’s wayward
ways by introducing fresh coffee back into the market place, one
community at a time.