Free addition: 100 g Perfetto Moka ground with the purchase of the brand Bialetti. Read more
No code entry required, promotion valid while stocks last.
Kaffeepflanze Kaffeepflanze

FROM COFFEE CULTIVATION TO THE COFFEE CUP

Everything about the journey from cultivation to the consumer - This is what you should know about the coffee bean.

FROM COFFEE CULTIVATION TO THE COFFEE CUP

Coffee is the Germans' favorite beverage. On average, people drink more coffee than water. It might be interesting for some of you to know how long the coffee bean has to travel before it ends up in our cups as a beverage. According to legend, an Ethiopian shepherd named Kaldi discovered the effects of the coffee plant. After his goats consumed the coffee plant, they jumped around the field in a state of alertness. Coffee is grown in countries around the equator, known as the coffee belt. The coffee plant is a very sensitive plant and thrives best in these climatic conditions. The cultivation altitude, humidity, temperature and soil conditions play a very important role. First of all, two important types of coffee are distinguished: Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora, also known as Arabica and Robusta coffee. World production of these two species is roughly distributed in a ratio of 60% Arabica and 40% Robusta.
Hütte eines Kaffeebauerns Hütte eines Kaffeebauerns

SEED AND CULTIVATION

The coffee plant is a demanding plant. The optimal climate for it is 20°-26° Celsius. If the temperature is below 15° Celsius or even frost, the harvest may be considerably reduced. The coffee plant grows best with a rainfall of 1500-2000 mm per year and with no more than 5 hours of sun per day. Since the sun sometimes shines longer, plantations must be optimally located so that the plants are not exposed to sunlight all day. Some plantation owners therefore plant other tall trees to provide shade for the coffee plants. Soil rich in nutrients is also an important condition for coffee plant cultivation. Ideally, the soil contains sufficient potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. Volcanic soils are very suitable for coffee cultivation.

In specially prepared seedbeds, the seeds can develop into seedlings in five to six weeks. They are then transplanted into special individual containers, where they grow into real coffee plants in six to eight weeks and can then also be transplanted to the plantations. The coffee plant grows shrub-like and can grow up to 10 meters tall. However, on the plantations, the plant is kept at a height of 1.5-2 meters to facilitate harvesting. Its roots extend up to 2.5 meters into the ground. The leaves of the coffee plant are dark green, smooth on one side, leathery on the other, and 8-15 cm long. After the first rains, the coffee plant blooms for the first time. The flower is white and star-shaped and gives off a pleasant fragrance. However, the flowering period usually does not last long, because the narrow petals fall off very quickly.

COFFEE PLANT

Arabica plants take 7 to 9 months for the coffee cherries to ripen. Robusta plants take nine to eleven months. However, the plant does not produce its first yields until after about 4 years. You can tell that the coffee cherries are ripe by the change in their color from green to yellow or red. The coffee cherry consists of the yellow or red cherry skin, the pulp, and the two seeds of the coffee cherry, the coffee beans. It still encloses a parchment skin with a mucilage layer and the silverskin. Sometimes only one bean develops in the coffee cherry, which is then called a pearl bean.

COFFEE HARVEST

North of the equator, harvesting takes place from September to December; south of the equator, harvesting takes place from April to August. Coffee cherries are picked either by hand or mechanically with a harvester. If the beans are picked by hand, there are again two options: The stripping method and the picking method. Stripping means that the picker strips all the beans from a bush. In the process, of course, unripe coffee cherries are often harvested, which is why the selection in the stripping method is not as precise as in the picking method. Only the ripe coffee cherries are picked. However, due to the large worldwide demand for coffee and because of industrialization, this method is no longer used as often. The coffee cherries are then roughly cleaned, i.e. freed from leaves and dirt. Then the coffee beans must be freed from the coffee cherry, so that in the end only the bean remains. There are two methods for this: The wet and the dry preparation.

Kaffeekirsche Kaffeekirsche

PREPARATION

Freshly picked coffee cherries have a moisture content of 50-60%. In dry preparation, the coffee cherries are spread out on special drying areas, dried in the sun for 6 to 8 weeks and turned regularly. In case of precipitation, the coffee beans must be covered. The beans have the right dryness when they rattle in the cover when shaken. Then the pulp can be easily removed and the cherry has only a moisture content of about 12%. Dry-processed coffees are called "naturals" or "unwashed". Wet processing works somewhat differently: First, the pulp is removed from the coffee cherries directly after harvesting by the so-called "pulper" and then they are stored in the fermentation tank for 12-36 hours. The enzymes contained in the coffee free the residual mucilage from the parchment skin. This fermentation process must not be allowed to last too long, as overfermentation can occur and entire batches are then ruined. The coffee cherries are then washed again to remove any remaining pulp. Finally, the coffee beans are dried in the sun. Wet-processed coffees are called "washed" or "milds". There is also semi-dry preparation, which is a mixture of the other two types of preparation. In this process, the pulp is removed from the coffee bean and dried in the sun together with the remains of the pulp. Finally, the dried coffee beans are freed from the parchment cover and silver skins and sorted according to size, density and color. Then they can be packed in 60-70 kg bags and shipped.

SHIPPING AND TRADE

The bags are loaded into containers and shipped to Europe on large cargo ships. The green coffee can be sold or purchased by special trading houses through the coffee exchange, until it finally reaches the small or large roasters. Before the coffee is shipped to the importers, samples are usually sent so that the so-called "graders" can test the coffee. A coffee grader is a specially trained person who can classify the quality of the coffee based on its sensory characteristics. After detailed examination and description, the green coffee is sold. After roasting, it can be enjoyed as a specialty coffee such as filter coffee, espresso or latte. There are numerous ways and machines to prepare your favorite coffee: In the classic way with the hand filter, for professionals with the portafilter machine or even with the traditional Italian Bialetti, the Aeropress or the Cuccuma.

Landschaft Kaffeeanbau Landschaft Kaffeeanbau

CONCLUSION

The path from coffee cultivation until the coffee finally ends up in our cup differs from coffee variety to coffee variety and from different roasters. And that's what makes our favorite beverage so special: Each bean travels a different path, which contributes significantly to the taste and aroma and thus makes possible the diverse selection of different coffee beans that we can experience today.

Alps Coffee
Biomatic
whole bean / 500 g

€11.99*
0.5 kg (€23.98 / 1 kg)
Rösttrommel
Bio Espresso
whole bean / 500 g

€15.90*
0.5 kg (€31.80 / 1 kg)
Truesday
Cauca Excelso
whole bean / 200 g

€7.90*
0.2 kg (€39.50 / 1 kg)
Moyee Coffee
Triple Espresso
whole bean / 250 g

€7.00*
0.25 kg (€28.00 / 1 kg)
Dresdner Kaffeerösterei
Natura Bio
whole bean / 250 g

€8.90*
0.25 kg (€35.60 / 1 kg)
Torrefaktum
Good Morning BIO
whole bean / 1000 g

€35.90*

DISCOVER EVEN MORE COFFEE KNOWLEDGE

Discover the big universe of the small coffee bean with us. With exciting topics around coffee and espresso we present you interesting and worth knowing topics from the world of coffee. Immerse yourself with us and become an absolute coffee nerd yourself.