The coffee plant has dark-green, broad, shiny leaves. It flowers for
the first time after about two years, this is also when the first fruit begin
to appear, green at first, scarlet-red when they ripen. Harvest is
one of the most important factors influencing the quality of coffee.
Only coffee made from ripe fruit has natural sweetness and fruity
and flowery notes. The fruit ripen unevenly on the twigs,
and so to ensure the best quality, hand picking is the best
method of harvest.
After being harvested, the fruit is sorted by hand, and then undergoes processing. There are two methods of coffee processing, the choice of which is used influences the quality and the price of the final product.
The cheaper dry method involves sun-drying the beans until they crack and then removing the outer skin. This method is used with lower quality beans. The beans obtained in this manner are called "natural'.
Beans of the highest quality are produced with the use of the more expensive wet method in which the outer skin peels off the bean as a result of fermentation. This product is called washed or semi-washed coffee beans.
After being processed, the raw coffee beans are divided according to size, weight and shape, and then packed to sacks and sent off to the port.
After being processed, the raw coffee beans are segregated according to size, weight and shape, and then packed to sacks and sent off to the port.
Inside the coffee berry there are usually two coffee beans,
but occasionally there will only be one, small round bean called a peaberry.
On average 2-10% of all beans are peaberries.
They used to be considered inferior, but today they have become
one of the most desirable and valuable beans in the world,
because of their superior flavour.
Unfortunately, they are also becoming
increasingly harder to obtain.
Coffee reaches Europe from many corners of the world. It mostly travels by sea, packed in 60 kg jute bags which allow air to flow freely to the beans. The bags are shipped in containers with ventilation holes all along their walls, as well as in their roof and floor. These ventilated containers are then placed under the deck to protect them from sea water. Coffee must be transported at an appropriate temperature, this is higher than 0ºC but lower than 20ºC.
Once the coffee reaches the European Union, it is transported to warehouses at the port where it undergoes detailed examination. Because raw coffee beans are sensitive to humidity and odours, their condition must be assessed. Qualified tasters roast the coffee, grind it and verify its quality. The tasters have been selected not only a highly developed sense of taste and smell, but also to detect what factors impacted the flavour of given coffee. Selected coffee is transported from warehouses to roasteries.
Green unroasted coffee supports weight loss. Green coffee is rich in the so called guardians of youth, i.e. antioxidants, polyphenols, and most importantly, chlorogenic acid (CGA) which prevents fat deposition, decreases fat absorption and stimulates the body to cleanse itself of toxins. Unfortunately, the roasting process destroys CGA acid, so if you wish to benefit from its slimming properties, you should drink an infusion of unroasted green coffee.
The key stage in influencing the richness of flavours
and aromas in coffee is roasting. Raw coffee beans
are put into special furnaces, where they are treated
with hot air which surrounds them from all directions,
ensuring an even roast. An optimal roast level is
a combination of the correct period of time and
the right temperature. These two factors are individually
adjusted for each type of coffee to extract the maximum
taste and aroma from each bean. The character of coffee
is uniquely shaped by the process of roasting.
|The only official EU logo for organic products. It means that both farmer, agents and roasting company are meeting strict EU requirements for organic food production. At all stages of production there is no use of herbicides, pesticides, artificial fertilisers, or any other chemicals. The BIO symbol guarantees consumers fully natural, ecologically clean products. This image guarantees that all participants in the coffee trade are meeting strict rules, and they are constant monitored by authorised certification bodies.|
|The FAIRTRADE label is a Certificate of Fair Trade. In the FAIRTRADE system, farmers obtain fair payment in return for the coffee they harvest. It guarantees stable incomes for the plantation workers and, therefore, good conditions for the worker and their family. This certificate ensures that all participants in the coffee trade have met strict FAIRTRADE standards and have contributed to improving the living conditions of the farmers who work on the coffee plantations.|
|The RAINFOREST ALLIANCE organisation works towards sustainable agriculture. It manages forests, promotes water conservation, measures carbon dioxide emissions and teaches good agricultural cultivation practices in order to ensure ecological, social, and economic benefit for all societies linked to coffee production. It guarantees that employees are well-trained and that they work in good conditions with proper sanitation, health care and housing. This certificate guarantees that coffee, marked with this label, meets all of the strict requirements set out by the Rainforest Alliance organisation at all stages of production.|
|The UTZ certificate ensures that coffee comes from sustainable agricultural crops that guarantee farmers and their families fair payment for their produce and better living conditions. The UTZ programme allows farmers to learn new cultivation methods, improve working conditions, and also supports farmer to provide their children with education. UTZ helps farmers safeguard their environment and secure the natural resources for now and the future.|