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Bean to cup journey by Bewley's (the Cafe2U coffee roaster) Part 1

Monday, June 06, 2016

The coffee that finishes in your Cafe2U cup has been on quite a journey to get there. We want to give you the knowledge to share that journey in the best possible way, by delivering great coffee that you love again and again. 
Our part comes in trekking around the globe, striving to discover ever more delicious beans, grown in ever more inventive ways, in ever more exotic climes.
And when we find one we love, we’ll make an effort to get to know the grower, learn about their farm and staff, plant stock, processing and milling provision. To get all the parts in place to get the best coffee to you.
If they share our commitment to quality, consistency and fair business, we’ll strike up a trade and stick by them through thick and thin.

The plant
Genus Coffea i.e. coffee has many sub species, but predominantly only coffea Arabica and coffea Canefora (robusta) are grown for consumption. It is the seed of the fruit that we will eventually roast, grind and brew. 
Coffee grows on a tree, although pruning and different varietals often mean they look more like bushes and requires good agronomy, care and attention from its seeding, to the two-three years till it bears fruit, and throughout its twenty year or so lifespan.

Coffee grows between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Known as the ‘Coffee Belt’. The right combination of sunlight, consistent rain patterns rain and altitude give the conditions for coffee to thrive.
Coffee is a tropical fruit, requiring adequate sun exposure, tempered with the cooling effects of altitude and often shade coverage to get the best in-cup results.
It can be intercropped, it is not uncommon to see other fruits or shade trees, indeed the presence of shade can lead to conditions that that slow the maturation of the cherries and improve the flavour, as well as a healthier local eco-system.

Harvesting is the act of picking the cherries from the trees. Coffee ripens at different rates, even on the same branch, so hand picking will involve many passes over the harvest period and great skill is needed. Strip picking and mechanical harvesting can also be used in larger farms and sorting of all ripeness will occur post picking.

Next time: Part 2 will focus on Sorting & Grading, Processing and Milling.

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