Green Coffee Beans

Coffee does not exist in nature in the form that we normally buy it. Coffee is prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant. These seeds are commonly known as 'coffee beans,' even though they are not precisely beans. The green 'coffee beans' that are collected from the coffee plantations are sent to places where they are roasted, ground and finely crushed to make coffee powder.

The following are a detail of all the processes that green coffee beans have to go through before they actually become coffee powder. First, they must be picked from plantations. Green coffee beans are most frequently picked by hand by laborers who get paid by the basketful. Since coffee beans are a type of drupe, with fruit flesh directly wrapping the coffee bean, after being gathered the flesh of the coffee bean must be promptly removed by soaking, scouring and mechanically rubbing the bean. The de-fruited coffee bean is then cleansed with water to remove sticking fruit and additional sugars before drying. The green coffee beans are then spread over a large concrete or rock plane, where they are dried by air and sunlight.

The next step in preparation is categorization of the beans by color and size. Discolored, decayed and damaged beans are removed at this point. The roasting process that follows is important in producing an aromatic cup of coffee. When roasted, the green coffee bean expands to nearly twice its initial size, changing in color and density. As the bean takes in heat, the color changes to yellow and then to a light 'cinnamon' brown. At this point in the roasting process, the coffee beans will start cracking, quite like popping popcorn. The final product can be crushed into savory coffee powder.

Thus, we see how all the coffee, as we know it today comes actually from green coffee beans.

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