Handful of Green Beans

Green Coffee Beans- Coffee beans are small green seeds which are then roasted, ground, and brewed to create the coffee beverage. The green bean comes from a coffee cherry. Coffee Cherries range from bright green (immature,) red or sometimes yellow (ripe and commonly considered best for coffee,) and purple (mature). Coffee Cherries come from the Coffea Plant commonly called the Coffee Tree. A small deciduous tree or shrub found in what is called the "bean belt," an area on and near the equator between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Coffee trees grow cherries for 5-6 months a year and can live and produce well over 50 years.

Common Origins and processing methods of green coffee beans

Coffee bean farmers picking through the coffee tree fruit
Bags of packaged Colombian green beans

In the world there are around 70 countries that produce coffee. Below is a list of not even half of them, not because they are the only ones that should be chosen from. However, these are origins we are more likely to get our hands on and to use in our roasts.

The Americas (Highly productive)

Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Hawaii, Jamaica

Africa (The Birthplace of Coffee)

Ethiopia, Yemen, Kenya, Burundi, Congo, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe

Farmer picking coffee tree fruit from tree

Asia (Something a little more exotic)

Indonesia (Java, Papau New Guinea, Sulawesi, Sumatra), India, Thailand Vietnam,


Washed or Wet Process:  

One of the quickest processing methods. Exact method depends on farm and location. Washed Loosely means coffee cherries have fruit and mucilage cleaned off right away or shortly after picking instead of allowing the degradation or drying of the cherry.

Fully Washed coffees are fermented with yeasts or local bacteria for some time after being de-pulped and before being washed free of fruit with water. Some washed coffees use mechanical de-mucilaging. Fermentation can take place in water or open air.

Coffee Profile: Clean flavors, caramels or sugar, fruity acidity, bright crisp notes.

Natural or Dry Process: 

Dry Process: Cherries are picked and allowed to dry with fruit in tact. Dried fruit or mucilage is removed mechanically or manually through hulling at the end of drying. Fermentation occurs naturally within drying fruit. Natural process is the oldest method of processing coffee. Cherries are left to dry on raised tables or patios. Commonly found in Ethiopia and Yemen, Brazil as well.

Coffee Profile: Strong fruit flavors, wines and booze, strong chocolate and nut flavors, syrupy body is very common.

Pulped Natural Process: A variation of the natural process. By removing the coffee cherry skin but leaving the fruit underneath in tact. Common in Brazil. A way of preserving some natural process flavors such as fruit, mouthfeel, and lower acidity. Speeding up drying process while lowering the risk of spoilage and mold that full naturals are susceptible to.

Honey Process: Common in Costa Rica. The term Honey Processed is used to describe removal of pulp and some mucilage to alter and control the flavor profile.

Profile of both pulped natural and honey:  Lightly fruity, stewed fruits or jams, caramel or sugar, with sweet nuttiness.

Wet Hulled or Semi Washed:

Common in areas of Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Bali.) An environmental specific process setting Indonesia apart from the world. The coffee is often grown on garden size plots normally manually depulped and put in sacks. Then it is brought to a hulling station where it ferments inside the bag slightly with some mucilage at high moisture content. After parchment is removed (dry mucilage) it is mechanically dried or dried on patios.

Coffee Profile: Earthy, savory, woody, sometimes vegetal, herbaceous with a heavy body, smoky or tobacco flavors.


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