Quality coffee must not be made in a rush. It needs ample time and ingredients in its ideal form. Ample time, because it takes three to four years before the coffee plant starts producing flowers where the coffee cherries grow. Ingredients because it needs the finest beans to make a perfect cup of coffee.
Processing coffee is a technique of converting raw coffee beans into its drinkable structure. It is divided into three methods:
The most popular coffee bean process is the wet or washed method which is commonly used even for premium coffee. It is done by immersing the coffee cherries into a tank of water. Unripe or bad fruit will float leaving the ripe and good ones submerged below. A machine then presses the fruit into a screen to remove the pulp from the skin. Dry process is the oldest yet still existing method of coffee processing. After the beans have been harvested, it is then piled to a thin layer and is placed under the sun to dry; once it is dry, the skin is then removed. Lastly is the semidry process where it is first washed before set out to dry. Commercial coffee processing uses cellulase during the drying of the coffee beans. It performs hydrolysis which causes chemical reaction opposite to condensation.
Harvesting may not be a part of the process however one cannot produce good results from poorly harvested beans. The coffee cherries are ready for harvest if they are brightly red in color and are a bit soft which can be squeezed with a little amount of pressure. Immature or over-riped harvest must be avoided. Additional steps are sorting, polishing, storage, aging, and decaffeination. It is indeed a long process just to have these beans ready for use. All of these are not possible without coffee processing equipments which aid towards the success of making the beans ready for consumption. Grinding is the most critical part of coffee processing. It is best to have a good set of coffee grinding machines; be it for commercial or industrial purposes.
The flavor of the coffee is highly dependent on the way the beans are roasted. Most of us prefer to buy pre-roasted coffee beans which use high-tech roasting machines. But the coffee roasting process can also be done at the comforts of our own homes. But be sure to seek help if necessary because over-roasting the beans destroys its flavor. Accurately roasted beans should simply crack when pressed between fingers. This is an indication that you have roasted the beans the correct way. The rule of the thumb is that the darker the color the more bitter and stronger the flavor is.
Since coffee processing is very time consuming, instant coffee are sometimes preferred. But this is just done in a bigger scale enterprise for it requires more equipments and very expensive machineries. It goes through different manufacturing processes to have the coffee beans in its granulated form.
Instant coffee has the advantage in terms of speed in its preparation but nothing beats the rich taste and aroma of a freshly ground coffee beans. And research shows that instant coffee contains less caffeine however its bitter flavor is much more obvious that regular ground coffee beans.
Coffee comes in different forms and kinds ranging from the classic espresso to the famous iced coffee. As time goes, so as the menu in a coffee shop. However, it is by customer’s distinction whether if he prefers instant or brewed. Due to the busy and fast-faced lifestyle of today some may choose instant coffee but others still take a moment of their time to enjoy the luscious and incomparable flavor of originally brewed coffee.