Quick Facts About Producing and Roasting Coffee

By Tommy Pettersson

Where does coffee come from and how it is produced? I have heard about roasting coffee beans, what is it and how is it done? If you are interested in any of these questions you will enjoy these "Quick Facts About Producing and Roasting Coffee."

Quick Facts About Producing Coffee

  • An Arabica coffee tree can produce up to 12 pounds of coffee a year, depending on soil and climate.
  • Coffee trees are self-pollinating.
  • Coffee trees are evergreen and grow to heights above 15 feet but are normally pruned to around 8 feet in order to facilitate harvesting.
  • Coffee trees produce highly aromatic, short-lived flowers producing a scent between jasmine and orange. These blossoms produce cranberry-sized coffee cherries. It takes four to five years to yield a commercial harvest.
  • The Arabica is the original coffee plant. It still grows wild in Ethiopia. The Arabica coffee tree is an evergreen and in the wild will grow to a height between 14 and 20 feet.
  • The coffee tree produces its first full crop when it is about 5 years old. Thereafter it produces consistently for 15 or 20 years.
  • An acre of coffee trees can produce up to 10,000 pounds of coffee cherries. That amounts to approximately 2000 pounds of beans after hulling or milling.
  • When a coffee seed is planted, it takes five years to yield consumable fruit.
  • Hard Bean means the coffee was grown at an altitude above 5000 feet.
  • Coffee is graded according to 3 criteria: Bean quality (Altitude and Species) Quality of preparation Size of bean.
  • Only about 20% of harvested coffee beans are considered to be a premium bean of the highest quality.
  • Coffee beans are similar to grapes that produce wine in that they are affected by the temperature, soil conditions, altitude, rainfall, drainage and degree of ripeness when picked.
  • Coffee sacks are usually made of hemp and weigh approximately 132 pounds when they are full of green coffee beans. It takes over 600,000 beans to fill a coffee sack.
  • Hills Brothers Ground Vacuum Packed Coffee was first introduced in 1900.
  • Hawaii is the only state of the United States in which coffee is commercially grown. Hawaii features an annual Kona Festival, coffee picking contest. Each year the winner becomes a state celebrity. In Hawaii coffee is harvested between November and April.
  • In Sumatra, workers on coffee plantations gather the world's most expensive coffee by following a gourmet marsupial who consumes only the choicest coffee beans. By picking through what he excretes, they obtain the world's most expensive coffee -'Kopi Luwak', which sells for over $100 per pound.
  • Coffee is grown commercially in over forty-five countries throughout the world.
  • Over 5 million people in Brazil are employed by the coffee trade. Most of those are involved with the cultivation and harvesting of more than 3 billion coffee plants.
  • Brazil accounts for almost 1/3 of the world's coffee production, producing over 3-1/3 billion pounds of coffee each year.
  • Over 53 countries grow coffee worldwide, but all of them lie along the equator between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
  • Coffee, as a world commodity, is second only to oil.

Quick Facts About Coffee Roasting

  • The 2,000 Arabica coffee cherries it takes to make a roasted pound of coffee are normally picked by hand as they ripen. Since each cherry contains two beans, it takes about 4,000 Arabica beans to make a pound of roasted coffee.
  • After they are roasted, and when the coffee beans begin to cool, they release about 700 chemical substances that make up the vaporizing aromas.
  • Roasted coffee beans start to lose small amounts of flavour within two weeks.
  • Before roasting, some green coffee beans are stored for years, and experts believe that certain beans improve with age, when stored properly.
  • Coffee is generally roasted between 400F and 425F. The longer it is roasted, the darker the roast. Roasting time is usually from ten to twenty minutes.
  • Over-roasted coffee beans are very flammable during the roasting process.
  • Flavoured coffees are created after the roasting process by applying flavoured oils specially created to use on coffee beans.
  • Commercially flavoured coffee beans are flavoured after they are roasted and partially cooled to around 100 degrees. Then the flavours applied, when the coffee beans' pores are open and therefore more receptive to flavour absorption.

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Hope you enjoyed these "Quick Facts About Producing and Roasting Coffee." You find more quick facts about coffee with these links:

Tommy Pettersson
Article by Tommy Pettersson
Tommy Pettersson is a well known internet developer and the founder of Fair Trade Community. Fair Trade Community is a community where people can get facts and information, meet and discuss how they can help to improve the lives of some of the poorest people in the world. Learn more at Fair Trade Community.

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