It usually takes up to four years for the coffee tree to be mature enough to produce fruit. We call this fruit a cherry because it resembles a bright red pie cherry. Once the cherry turns red it is ready to be harvested. The harvesting process traditionally was done by hand and still is in many coffee producing countries. It wasn't until relatively recently that we figured out how to mechanically remove the cherries from the trees. While mechanical processes are more efficient, some farmers still prefer to pick their cherries by hand. This allows the pickers to select only the best, ripest cherries and leave the others there a little longer. In most countries there is one harvesting period each year, however some countries, like Brazil and Colombia have two growing seasons each year.
Once the beans have been parched, they are put through a milling process. Wet process beans still have an outer layer of skin on them that needs to be removed in this hulling process. Some superior quality beans are polished at this point.
Once polished and hulled the beans are sorted and readied for the market removing any defective beans. This final product, "green coffee" is then packed by weight into jute bags and placed into shipping containers for export. Approximately seven million tons of green coffee is produced annually around the world.
When a shipment of coffee arrives at the port normally coffee brokers send out samples to coffee roasters like Delima Coffee, or resellers, for cupping. Cupping is where we taste and evaluate the coffee. We determine if the coffee has the characteristics we expect from its particular origin. Other aspects that we evaluate are the moisture of the coffee, its appearance, along with its taste profile. If the coffee meets our standards we purchase the coffee to be brought in and roasted.
Once the coffee is roasted it is either ground to be used in coffee machines and then packaged on coffee packaging equipment, or packed as a bean product on coffee packaging machines. Not all grinds are equal. A standard grind used in a drip coffee maker is much coarser than a very fine grind used for espresso.
The next time you brew a pot of your favorite Delima Coffee you can take a minute to look at your coffee, smell it, and remember how far it's travelled to reach you this morning!
If you have any questions please feel free to contact us any time via email, telephone or Facebook.