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The Coffee Story

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

With so many coffee shops for sale all over the high street and a much greater demand for coffee for use in the home as well, recent years have seen the coffee industry in an all-time boom. It is estimated that somewhere between 600 and 800 billion people rely on the coffee industry for some or all of their income. It’s impressive, isn’t it?

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With so many people so dependent on the survival of the coffee industry, it comes as a bit of relief that all those coffee shops for sale aren’t due to a lack of interest. In fact, the number of coffee shops, chains and franchises grows year on year due to the ever increasing demand.

If you have ever wondered how coffee goes from being a seed in a fruit to a piping hot, delicious latte in coffee shops for sale, look no further. The coffee journey is quite an interesting one, and one all coffee lovers should have some idea about. The amount of effort that goes into perfecting every single bean is fascinating.

Planting and growth

While we might call coffee a bean, it’s actually a seed, and found tucked away inside the coffee fruit. Unprocessed seeds can be planted in order to grow new coffee plants, although it takes at least three years for the seedlings to reach maturity and to start to produce their own fruit. It’s really important that the seedlings are regularly watered while they grow, to ensure the roots are well established and that the plant will be healthy in its productive years.

Harvesting

Next, when the coffee plants are producing lots of healthy looking fruit, they can be harvested. There are two main methods used for this: strip picking or selection. Selective picking is much more labour intensive, but it gives a higher grade coffee because it requires an individual to choose which fruits are ripe and therefore ready to harvest. Strip picking is much quicker and can even carried out by machine. All the fruit are picked at the same time, regardless of how ripe they are.

Extracting the seed

After the fruit has been picked, the soft flesh has to be removed to leave the seed which will then start to remember the sorts of coffee beans we are familiar with. This can be done either by using water to wash away the flesh and separate the seeds (the riper beans are heavier, and so they sink).

Alternatively, the fruit can be laid out in the sun to dry, although this can take several weeks. Regular raking and covering prevents the fruit from spoiling.

Roasting

After that, the coffee can be transported. It’s best roasted just before use to make sure it is as fresh as possible, so some coffee shops for sale will do this in their premises, while others will buy ready roasted beans. The amount of time the beans are roasted for will reflect the taste significantly.

Grinding and making coffee

Finally the beans can be ground up and used in espresso machines and cafetières all around the world.

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