Bean to cup: The Journey of your coffee bean

Bean to cup: The Journey of your coffee bean

Embarking on the intricate journey from "Bean to Cup," we invite coffee aficionados to explore the captivating story behind every cup. This narrative is not just about transforming a bean into your morning delight; it's an odyssey rich with culture, science, tradition, and a deep-seated passion for coffee. Understanding the journey enhances every sip taken, bringing light to the meticulous art and science that shapes our coffee experiences. This is why we here at Cult Coffee offer our Profiled Pour Experience. Let’s delve into the mesmerizing world of coffee, from its humble beginnings to the meticulous craft that fills our cups.

The Origin: Seeds of Flavor
Our story begins within the verdant embrace of the Coffee Belt, cradled between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Here, optimal conditions—temperatures between 60°F and 70°F, ample rainfall, and bountiful sunshine—nurture the growth of coffee cherries. The terroir, encompassing soil, climate, and topography, imparts unique flavor profiles to the beans, much like in winemaking. Each region, from the birthplace of coffee in Ethiopia to the volcanic terrains of Central America, adds its distinct signature to the beans, crafting a spectrum of flavors that range from fruity undertones to nutty, sweet notes.

Cultivation and Harvesting: The Foundation of Flavor
Coffee trees, from planting to fruit-bearing, epitomize patience and care. It takes about 3-4 years for a coffee tree to start producing cherries, with peak production occurring around the fifth year. Throughout this period, farmers engage in a delicate dance with nature, ensuring the plants are nurtured to yield the best possible harvest.

The harvesting phase is a crucial moment where the fate of the coffee's flavor is significantly influenced. Cherries must be picked at the pinnacle of ripeness to ensure the beans inside have reached their full flavor potential. While hand-picking allows for selective harvesting of ripe cherries, mechanical methods can harvest in bulk, sometimes at the expense of precision.

Processing: Transforming Cherry to Bean
After harvest, the processing of coffee cherries is pivotal in defining the coffee's final taste. There are several methods employed:

Dry Processing (Natural Method): Cherries are laid out to dry in the sun, with the bean inside still enveloped by the fruit. This traditional method, which can take several weeks, imbues the coffee with a distinctive sweetness and fruity notes, favored for its simplicity and the depth of flavor it lends to the coffee.

Wet Processing (Washed Method): Involves removing the cherry's pulp before drying the beans, which are then typically fermented in water to remove the mucilage. This method highlights the coffee's acidity and results in a cleaner, more refined flavor profile.

Honey Processing: Strikes a balance between the natural and washed methods. The pulp is removed, but some or all of the mucilage is left on the bean during drying, influencing the sweetness and body of the coffee. The process is named for the sticky, honey-like feel of the mucilage.

Roasting and Cupping: The Art of Flavor Development
Roasting is where the green beans are transformed, unlocking the rich flavors and aromas dormant within. It’s a precise science, requiring careful control over temperature and timing. Roasters experiment with different profiles, from light to dark roasts, each highlighting different aspects of the bean's inherent flavors.

Cupping is an essential practice in the coffee industry, a standardized method for evaluating coffee aroma and flavor profile. It involves steeping ground coffee in hot water, then tasting (or "slurping") the coffee to assess its characteristics. Cupping allows roasters to determine the optimal roast level for each batch of beans and to craft blends that highlight complementary flavor profiles, ensuring the best possible experience in each cup.

Brewing: The Final Journey
Brewing is the final act in the coffee's journey, where ground beans meet water. The method, grind size, water temperature, and brewing time are all critical factors that influence the extraction of flavors and aromas, culminating in the perfect cup.

This detailed "Bean to Cup" journey reflects the dedication and craftsmanship behind each cup of coffee. From the nurturing soils of the Coffee Belt to the roaster's careful artistry, each step is a testament to the passion and pursuit of coffee perfection. As you enjoy your next brew, remember the journey it has undergone—a global voyage of flavor, culture, and dedication that connects us all through the universal language of coffee.
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.