For over two thousand years of coffee's life now, a worldwide market of coffee bean processing has developed the output of which as a commodity is of dollar value that is surpassed by petroleum only.
While bean varieties number several dozens, there are only broadly two categories of the plants, the arabica that was first cultivated in the Arabian Peninsula and the other with almost double caffeine content is the robust.
Unlike wine, the coffee berry, cherry in colloquial term, is not in demand for its fruit, but for the bean inside precisely. To produce 400 million cups of coffee a day for consumption along the world that very bean is aged, roasted, ground and brewed skillfully. Of the two major varieties of beans, green and red, the second one delivers finer coffee with higher aromatic oil and lower acid content in it. That is why in the life cycle of bean to shelf picking is a very important stage as is the style of making coffee in coffee maker machine.
Generally the beans are hand picked, a few baskets a day by each laborer, and therefore the final product depends on the important skill of separating red and green beans.
Once picking is done, through mechanical rubbing and scouring the fruit is eliminated. Next, to clear any remaining flesh the beans are washed. Next to this, fermentation stage producing beans, the same pass through sun drying over large concrete or rock slabs till about 12% water content is left behind.
As 400-degree Fahrenheit roasting goes on, the beans expand to double their dry size and then crack while the interior oil is released changing the color from green to brown. The basic flavor differs from coffee to coffee due to this very oil.
Quite logically therefore a great variety of in-house techniques for roasting has developed. Take for instance the beans from Java and Kenya produce distinguishing flavors (e.g. cappuccino) since those are generally roasted lightly. Once roasting is over, the beans generate carbon dioxide for days together and to help the de-gassing process, the beans receive airing or in semi-permeable shipping bags their packaging is done.
The beans that come out after about a few weeks go next through grinding process, the achievement being variations in styles and distinctions. Sometimes to maintain consistency in granule size while the beans are crushed, burr grinders are applied. Otherwise the beans are cut to small pieces with the help of choppers though granule sizes remain less uniform.
Next this final outcome is brewed and the variety of styles and techniques is large enough and almost equal to the number of cappuccino makers there. Into one of the four categories of pressure, boiling, steeping and gravity, these fine differences come under.
When hot water is run all the way through the grounds and then settled or filtered, it is called boiling method. But when water that is a little less than boiling hot, is pumped all the way through the grounds at a high pressure, then it is known as pressure method like espresso. Hot water is dripped into coffee grounds and filters in gravity or the 'drip brew' technique. Similar to the tea bags process is the steeping method with the only difference is that the bags used here are much larger in size.
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