The Journey of Coffee: From Farm to Your Cup

The Journey of Coffee: From Farm to Your Cup

Apr 05, 2020

Choosing a sustainably-sourced, high-quality coffee can have a major impact on the global ecosystem. The cup of coffee in your hand is the result of years of cultivation from people all around the world. That coffee has been cared for by many hands to get into yours from individuals such as the farmers, buyers, importers, roasters, to the baristas at the cafe or to you at home. The growth of the coffee at the farm always influences the taste of the coffee in your cup. The land and how the coffee is grown imparts those unique flavor notes to the coffee. Flavor notes are aromas and tastes you may find while brewing your cup of coffee such as cocoa, lemons, or even licorice without any artificial flavoring added to it.

There are two main coffee species that are consumed globally: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica coffee is a species of coffee grown from 3000 - 6000 ft and makes up 60% of coffee consumption. It is mostly sold at a premium because of the wide variety of delicate flavor notes you can taste in the coffee like cocoa, nuts, or fruit, and are usually the single origin coffees that you can find at specialty cafes. Though its flavors are highly coveted, this coffee is also more at risk for diseases like coffee rust and is more difficult for the farmers to grow since it is grown at higher elevations.

Robusta, the 2nd main coffee consumed globally is grown at lower elevations and makes up 40% of coffee consumption. Robusta usually has more of a rough flavor, but more caffeine, and is more popular for lower priced commodity coffees, instant coffee, and for roasters to add to its blends.

All coffee species, however, begin as a cherry on a farm in one of over fifty countries in the “Bean Belt” located over the equator from Asia, Africa, Central America, and South America. There are a wide variety of settings in which coffee grows: on large coffee plantations, biodiverse agro-forestry systems, or on smallholder, garden-like farms. The average coffee tree takes approximately 3-4 years from planting to full maturation, a large investment for farmers who decide to grow and sell coffee. Therefore, it is common for farmers growing coffee to be a part of a cooperative, which can be a point for resources and a common station for farmers to process and to send their coffees from the farm after harvest.

Throughout the growing season, the coffee cherry turns green, then a pale red, to bright red. Once it reaches that bright red color, it is ready to be hand-picked by the farmers. After harvest, the fruit is dried or washed off at a wet mill in the processing phase. Depending on the farm's climate one of the following processing methods will be used such as natural, honey, washed, or semi-washed.The coffee is then taken to the dry mill, where any necessary hulling is completed. The coffee seed, the green coffee, is what is left. If the coffee is specialty-grade and high quality, the farmers painstakingly sort through these beans at each processing step for any defects that may compromise the overall brew and taste of the coffee.. Once the coffee beans are sorted and packed into the bags, they’re finally transported to the roasters, who roast the green coffee and turn it into the caramel-colored beans with the smell and taste of coffee that we all love.

Understanding the process and mechanism of how coffee has been carefully tended by people all across the world, we at Everyday People Coffee and Tea source sustainable, single origin coffees from farmers, ensuring that those farmers are also provided equitable wages to sustain a livelihood that depends on the coffee trade. We are deeply committed to sourcing quality beans to produce our premium coffees. Our coffee is roasted in a registered and approved FDA facility adhering to sustainable practices.

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