From plant to mug, here's everything you need to know about coffee's life journey

Updated 23 Aug, 2021 11:37am


Did you know coffee isn't really a bean? It's a seed.

We fall in love with the smell of coffee beans every time we find our way in a coffee shop.

But wait, did you know it is a myth that coffee is bean?

Coffee does look like a bean in its unprocessed form, but the fact is, it is essentially a seed.

Let's discuss:


Unprocessed coffee seeds can germinate and grow into coffee plants when planted. Immature seedlings are allowed to grow for a few days after sprouting, then moved to separate pots with especially designed soil for maximum growth.

The seedlings in pots are shielded from the hot sun and watered frequently until they are strong enough to be transplanted to their permanent growing location.

Harvesting, processing and milling the fruit of a coffee tree

A coffee tree begins to bear fruit in clusters along its branches when it reaches maturity.

Did you know? That process alone can take anywhere from 4 to 7 years.

The fruit, often known as cherries, is green at first and becomes red when ready for harvest.

A pulp lies beneath the cherry's crimson skin, as well as an exterior layer and a parchment-like covering of the bean. Two oval-shaped beans, with their flat sides facing each other, are commonly seen inside these layers. Coffee cherries are harvested at different times; there is usually just one harvest each year, which lasts 2 to 3 months, as the cherry ripens.

Harvested coffee is then depulped and dried in the sun or in mechanical driers.


Prior to export, parchment coffee undergoes an interesting process.

Wet-processed coffee is hulled to remove the parchment covering. Hulling dry processed coffee entails removal of the entire dried husk of the dried cherries.

Beans are graded and sorted by size and weight, as well as for colour faults and other imperfections, and then exported.

These green beans can be stored for years before being roasted under the right conditions.


Roasting is a heat procedure that transforms coffee into the fragrant, dark brown bean-like units that we all recognise and absolutely adore.

The aroma and flavour that are locked inside the green coffee beans are released when they are roasted. As the beans are rapidly heated to extremely high temperatures during roasting, chemical changes occur.

They are immediately cooled to end the process once they reach the right state. Roasted beans have a coffee-like aroma and weigh lighter since moisture has been removed during the roasting process. They're crisp to the touch and ready to grind and brew.

Final step: grinding and brewing

The basic purpose of a grind is to extract as much flavour as possible from a cup of coffee. The fineness or coarseness with which the coffee should be ground is determined by the type of coffee maker utilised.

Brewed coffee is created by pouring hot water over ground coffee beans, letting steep for a period of time. This is accomplished in a number of ways. And you get to choose what suits you best!

What's your favourite brew like? Tell us in the comments below.

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