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From Seed To Cup, How Coffee Is Born

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ever wondered where we get your coffee comes before you visit our mobile coffee franchise and it ends up in your cup?

The beverage we all know and love starts out life as a green seed inside a fruit. The seed is then processed – dried and roasted – to produce the coffee beans which we grind and serve in our mobile coffee franchises.


Unprocessed coffee seeds can be planted, and when looked after carefully, will grow into mature coffee trees. The seedlings need regular watering and plenty of shade until they grow strong enough for permanent planting.

It takes between three and five years for the seedlings to mature enough to start producing their own fruit, which will eventually be exported and used to produce coffee around the world.


There are two methods of harvesting the fruit – strip picking and selective picking.

Machines can be used to strip pick, or it can be done by hand, but it means all the fruit is removed from the branch at once. Selective picking is more time consuming but it means that only the ripe fruits are picked. The end product of selective picking will be of a higher standard but will be more expensive than a strip picked batch.  


Alt: Coffee Beans are sun dried before processing

The dry method is the older way of producing coffee beans and is still used in countries with limited water supplies. The fruit is laid out in the sun to dry, raked over and covered to prevent spoiling. It can take several weeks for the water content to fall to 12.5%, at which point they are stored in warehouses.

The wet method requires more equipment than the dry method but is much quicker (which coffee lovers will appreciate, it has already taken five years to get to this point!). In this method the flesh of the fruit is removed and the seed is dried. Water is used both to wash away the fruit, and separate the beans based on weight - the riper beans will be heavier and so sink.

The beans produced with the wet method still require drying, either by laying in the sun or in large driers.

The product is then stored ready for transportation.



Alt: Coffee is roasted until it resembles what you’re used to at your mobile coffee franchise.

The beans can be treated for decaffeination, roasted, or sold as they are.

If the beans are being roasted, they will be checked before being transferred into a roaster. Depending on the desired taste, the beans are roasted for between 3 and 30 minutes at high temperatures. A slight cracking sound signifies how far along the roasting process the beans are, with light roasts being removed at one crack, and darker roasts are left until they crack a second time.

When they are removed from the roaster, they are immediately cooled using air or water so the taste stays just right. Because the beans reach such high core temperatures they begin producing heat exothermically, so taking them away from the heat source won’t be enough to stop the process.

At this stage the coffee will take on the characteristics that you would expect, and the recognisable flavour you are used to at your favourite coffee shop.


Coffee is ground more or less finely depending on how quickly it should be prepared. Our mobile coffee franchise uses the espresso method to produce a range of coffee drinks, so we require a very fine ground. As the hot water is forced through the ground coffee, a thick coffee is produced with an intense flavour and topped with dark foam known as crema.  

We try to remember that more than five years of work has gone into every sip of coffee from one of our mobile coffee franchises, so we try and do those little beans justice.

And there you have it folks, the mystery of the coffee bean is now solved and you can sleep soundly knowing that your coffee is created with lots of love and care!

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