Do you know where coffee comes from and how it gets to your cup? At Cafés Sati, we want to show you all the steps from the plantation, through the roasting process to your cup!
From the coffee tree to the coffee cherry
The coffee tree is a leafy shrub of the Rubiaceae family and of the genus “coffea”. There are many species of coffee trees in the world but only Arabica and Robusta are used for consumption.
Coffee is grown in more than 70 countries close to Ecuador and requires special weather conditions: a tropical climate and an altitude between 200 and 2000 metres. Each country, terroir and plantation offers a coffee with different taste characteristics.
In addition to these climatic conditions, growing coffee requires a lot of patience. Indeed, the first flowering occurs after 3-4 years. The white flower of the coffee plant gives off a sweet jasmine scent. It loses its petals a few days after blooming. It takes 6-9 months for the fruit, known as the “coffee cherry”, to form and ripen. The cherry then turns from green to a bright red colour.
The first cherry harvest therefore only begins 4-5 years after planting. In order to obtain the best quality, the ripe cherries are carefully harvested by hand.
Coffee cherry processing
Each coffee cherry contains two beans. Processing consists of removing these beans to obtain ‘green coffee’, i.e. the coffee beans before roasting. There are two processing methods:
- The dry method consists of drying the coffee cherries in the sun so that they become rigid. Then comes the hulling stage where the cherries are broken to extract the two beans. The result is the so-called “natural” green coffee.
- The wet method requires several steps. The cherries are first pulped and then placed in a fermentation tank filled with water for 24 to 48 hours. The beans are then dried in the sun to obtain “parchment coffee”. The parchment is a light envelope around the bean that allows for optimal conservation of the coffee. Finally, the last stage is the deparching stage, which consists of rubbing the beans to remove the parchment. The result is green “washed” coffee, which has a green colour with a slight bluish hint.
After one of these two methods, the green coffee beans are sorted according to a precise grading to achieve uniformity. They are then stored in recycled hessian bags and transported to the roaster by sea and then by truck.
Roasting green coffee
Arriving at the Port du Rhin in Strasbourg, the green coffee is stored in warehouses before being roasted.
Roasting consists of heating the green coffee beans for about 12 minutes to enhance the coffee’s aroma. The beans then change from a beige/green colour to a brown colour. The 250 aromatic molecules contained in the green coffee beans are increased to over 800 molecules. The flavour and aroma of the coffee is therefore derived from the roasting process.
Once roasted, the coffee is tasted during “cupping” sessions to guarantee impeccable quality in the cup!
By the way, did you know that Cafés Sati also participate in the French and World Cup Tasting Championships? To find out more, read our article on Cup Tasting!
Cafés Sati is the most awarded roaster in France. 🥇
Discover all the steps of the coffee journey in video! 👇