Harvesting & Processing
Before the coffee reaches us, there are many different stages it must go through until it can be roasted. The harvesting and processing of coffee is a long and laborious task, which takes a lot of care and attention. Here is a bit more information on coffees journey from seed to raw green coffee, ready to be roasted.
Picking the coffee cherries is the first part of the harvesting process. There are two different ways of picking coffee cherries:
Strip picking means that all coffee cherries are picked from the tree at the same time regardless of maturity level.
Sometimes this is done with large machinery.
This method is a lot quicker and easier, but there is a higher risk of unripe and defective coffee being taken to the next level of processing. This method is mostly used on large coffee plantations.
Depending on the variety, it can take up to 4 years until planted coffee trees begin to bear fruit.
It is critical to pick the cherries when they are ripe.
Picking coffee before it reaches full maturity will result in slightly sour and undesirable flavours.
As not all cherries will ripen at the same time, pickers must keep coming back to the tree to pick the cherries at the right maturity levels.
Despite the extra cost and time, we know that the care and attention paid by our expert pickers leads to superior coffee, which offers a more sophisticated and refined flavour.
Natural / dry process
The natural process is used more often in countries where water is not readily available and is the oldest and traditional way to process the coffee cherries.
After the coffee cherries have been harvested, they are spread out in the sun to dry on large patios or raised drying beds.
The cherries are turned occasionally to ensure even drying.
When the coffee is fully dried, it is rested inside the fruit and then peeled (hulled) to remove all parchment and husk that covers the beans.
After this, the beans are ready for shipment.
With the natural process, it is hard to ensure all coffee dries at the same rate.
Due to this, there is higher risk of inconsistency.
Generally, naturally processed coffees will have lower acidity and a heavier body.
The fruit drying on the beans, plus the sun hitting the them directly, changes the final flavour profile.
Washed / wet process
After being harvested, the coffee cherries are brought to a processing mill, where they are soaked in water.
The unripe or overly matured cherries immediately float and they are prevented from getting to the next stage of the process. This eliminates a lot of the defective cherries.
The ripe cherries will then be put into a de-pulping machine, which separates the cherries from the beans.
At this point, the beans are still covered in their parchment and fruit mucilage.
It is important to get rid of any mucilage. To do this, the beans are fermented in fermentation tanks for 24-36 hours, until the mucilage can be easily washed off.
When the beans are clean, they are taken in their parchments to dry under the sun.
This method preserves more acidity than the natural process and produces more consistency in the final flavour profile.
However, the washed process is a lot more complicated. It consumes more water and there is a higher margin of error.
Pulp natural process
The pulp natural process is similar to the washed process in that the cherries are brought to the processing mill and de-pulped in a pulping machine.
After this, the de-pulped coffee then skips the fermentation process and is taken straight out to dry in the sun with the parchment and mucilage still intact.
The drying of coffee processed in this way is very delicate.
The beans must be turned and raked very often to avoid fermentation and rot.
During this process, the mucilage dries into the bean affecting the final flavour profile of the coffee. This process can also be referred to as ‘semi washed’.
Pulp natural coffees can have more body and lower acidity than the washed process.
They are generally cleaner and more uniform than natural processed coffee.
A few simple methods to help you brew coffee at home.
We suggest to grind the coffee just before brewing.
The Aeropress may look like complicated brewing equipment, but it’s actually an easy and fun way of making coffee at home. We think that using a single origin coffee works great with this method.
Things you need:
- Paper Filter
- 14 grams of coffee
- 220 grams of filtered water
1. Connect the 2 parts of the Aeropress and extend to full length, then stand upside down (inverted).
2. Place the paper filter inside the black cap and rinse with water to get rid of any residual paper taste.
3. Grind your coffee quite course, n°5 and add to Aeropress.
4. Boil your filtered water. Then pour 220grams onto the coffee quickly, trying to wet all grinds.
5. Give the mixture a good stir.
6. After 1.5 minutes, tightly screw on the black cap with the filter inside.
7. Flip Aeropress over and place on top of your mug.
8. Plunge the top part of the Aeropress for approx. 30 seconds until all the water has passed through the filter.
9. Take Aeropress off the mug, screw off the filter cap, pop out the coffee puck and rinse.
Moka pot/stove top
This is one of our favourite methods. If you want strong, tasty and full bodied coffee, then this is the brewing method for you. We recommend using our Fiori espresso blend in the Moka Pot because of its smooth body and full flavour.
Things you need:
- Moka Pot
- Filtered water
- Electric or gas hob
1. Unscrew your Moka Pot and pour your filtered water into the bottom part, up to the safety valve.
2. Grind your coffee slightly courser than espresso, n°3.
3. Insert the filter basket inside the bottom part of the Moka Pot.
4. Evenly spread your coffee in the filter basket. We like to slightly compress the coffee.
5. Screw on the top part of the Moka Pot, not too tight.
6. Place the Moka Pot onto a medium heat.
7. After a couple of minutes keep checking the Moka Pot. You should begin to see coffee trickling out from the centre.
8. When the Moka pot is almost full, take it off the heat.
9. Wait until there is no more coffee coming out in the top chamber, then serve.
Probably the most popular way of brewing coffee in the UK. A really good option for sharing coffee.
Things you need:
- Approx 7 grams of coffee per 100 grams of water
- Filtered water
1. Measure the appropriate amount of coffee and grind at a very course setting, n°7.
2. Preheat your cafetiere with boiling water.
3. After pouring away the water used to preheat, add your coffee into the cafetiere, then pour on your water making sure you saturate all the grinds.
4. Once you have added all the water, give it a stir then let the coffee brew for around 4 minutes.
5. After 4 minutes, scoop out as much of the grinds as possible. This will make it easier to plunge, and also help reduce the amount of grinds in your cup.
6. Plunge the filter all the way to the bottom, then serve.
Pour overs are an easy and convenient way of making coffee at home. We recommend using high quality single origin beans to highlight their unique flavour characteristics.
Things you need:
- Filter cone
- Paper filters
- Approx 15 grams of coffee
- Pouring kettle
- 230 grams of filtered water
1. Place the paper filter inside the cone and rinse with boiling water to get rid of any residual paper taste.
2. Grind your coffee medium to fine, n°4.
3. Add 15 grams of coffee to your rinsed paper filter and make sure that it’s evenly spread.
4. Place the cone with the filter on top of your mug, then place everything on your scale and tare.
5. Pour around 50-60 grams of boiled water slowly onto the coffee until all the coffee is saturated.
6. After about 10-15 seconds, slowly pour in the rest of the water in a small circular motion, making sure you don’t pour over the side of the paper filter.
7. After around 1.5 minutes, you should have poured all 230 grams of water onto the coffee. Wait for the water to completely drip through, then remove the cone and filter.
There are many different ways to brew coffee and each method requires a different grind size. We suggest to use a burr grinder instead of a blade grinder. This way, you get a more uniform grind resulting in a more balanced flavour.
This is the finest grind, used for a Turkish Ibrik coffee maker.
A very fine grind provides the right resistance to the water, which is forced through the coffee and creates a rich crema for the espresso.
The grind for a Moka Pot needs to be coarser than espresso. If the grind is too fine, the coffee will struggle to extract resulting in a very bitter and strong taste.
A medium to fine grind is best for pour over. If your brew is too weak, try a finer grind. If the water doesn’t drip through the coffee, make the grind coarser.
We think the grind for Aeropress should be coarser than pour over. If it is hard to plunge, make the grind slightly coarser.
This is a formal way of tasting and discerning the quality of coffee. A medium to coarse grind is needed.
A very coarse grind is required for this method. If the grind is too fine, the coffee will taste bitter and also make it harder to plunge the filter.
Have you ever wondered what all the information
on speciality coffee bags means?
Here is an annotated diagram explaining each point.