As we mentioned before, if you really want to explore in the coffee industry, such chain brand like Starbucks, Costa, the Pacific may not fully satisfy your increasing need on coffee knowledge. Today, we are going to give you an introduction from the processing method of coffee beans, common coffee roasting levels and brewing methods. Meanwhile, since the coffee bean will be packaged in smaller bag after roasting for sale, a coffee valve could maximise its function on keeping the coffee bean fresh and to maintain its quality. A coffee valve plays a role on emitting carbon dioxide and preventing fresh air from external environment at the same time.
Processing method of coffee beans
When the coffee bean is firstly picked from the plant, it looks like a small cherry from the outside, and the coffee bean is hided inside. Before it can be sent to roast, farmers need to remove the red flesh and dry the raw beans, the flesh is eatable and some of them have melon flavour. There are three main methods to dry the raw bean, and each method would impact the final flavour of the coffee bean: dry process, semi-dry process and wet process.
- Dry process: This is the most traditional way to process the coffee bean, which is also known as unwashed or natural process. It simply means that to put cherries under the sun and remove the peel after sun exposure. The cherry will be sorted and spread evenly, raked regularly throughout the day in order to avoid uneven dryness. It is important to dry the cherry until reaching certain water content, otherwise it is more difficult to store, and can be attacked from bacteria and fungi. In addition, coffee beans with over dryness will be brickle and cannot result in good flavour after roasting.
Usually, those raw beans after over 20 days under sun exposure will add with some new flavours, one of the most flavour is berry and some other tropical fruits. However, coffee beans with dry process may also have some unpleasure flavours results in earthy or over-fermented.
- Wet process: To wash the pulp of coffee cherries, and these pulps will be fermented in the wet condition. Then farmers will use a lot of water to wash anything that grow on the surface afterwards. Therefore, coffee beans processed with wet process would leave impression as ‘clean’ and their taste is usually with higher acidity and less complexity.
It has two ways that wet process can be done:
- Ferment and wash method: to wash the pulp after the first round of fermentation, and to ferment again before another wash. Tow rounds of wash and fermentation will clean most of pectin and cellulose and finally obtain the coffee bean.
- Machine assisted wet processing: use the machine to scrub the cherries until they break apart and thus the coffee beans are released.
- Semi-dry process: It is known as ‘wet hulled’ or ‘semi-washed’ process, which is a common method used in Brazil and Indonesia. Honey process is also belonging to this segment. The coffee bean processed with this method usually result in a heavy body with earthy and mildly acidity.
Coffee roasting methods
When it comes to the brewing method, in general, the deeper level and longer time on roasting, the lower acidity and higher bitterness of the coffee bean; and the level of sweetness is with a trend of increasing and decreasing, it could reach to the best status in medium roasting. Different kinds of aroma and taste come from various roasting levels within time and firepower differences.
- Light roasting: with highest acidity, but can reflect the original taste of the coffee to the utmost extent
- Medium roasting: less acidity within stronger sweetness, can reflect ideal roasting flavour to some extent
- Dark roasting: decreasing acidity and sweetness, the coffee bean starts coking and carbonating, the flavour becomes strong with high bitterness
By discussing about the flavour of coffee, here are some more descriptions, which is also used as barista`s description and instruction on the package of coffee to give consumer a general impression of each coffee bean. But importantly, do not limit yourself on those flavours and do not worry about if you cannot taste those flavours! Because it can only be a reference instead of restricted standard, these flavours may be impacted slightly by different quality of coffee valve on the package at the same time.
- Acidity: the flavour that would stimulate your tongue at the very beginning moment, which is different from the acidity from lemon. It is known for brightness that can stimulate your taste. A coffee without enough acidity or brightness can be described as bored.
- Aroma: smell emitted from the coffee after interaction with hot water. You can use such words to describe your feeling, similar with those of wine: fruit-like, earthy, smoky, floral, berries and nuts
- Body: the taste of coffee in the mouth, you can describe it as water, or skimmed milk, milk, cream or even syrup
- Aftertaste: the taste leaves in your mouth after you swallow the coffee. sometimes it would leave some chocolate-like taste, or fruity, berries and nuts
- Balance: a general evaluation of a coffee. The coffee bean with good quality is described as balanced with layering taste and mouthfeel, while it smells nice. By contrast, the coffee bean with worse quality usually reflects a sole layer of taste.
Coffee brewing methods
Except for Italian expresso, some more brewing methods are actually popular among the coffee lover: V60, French press, moka pot, syphone coffee and AeroPress. We bet you will be interested on the instruction of these varies methods on brewing, and we will provide them in the next blog!
We have talked about these coffee bean processing methods, varies roasting levels and a bit of brewing methods, did you find that we were always sticking on the flavour of coffee including its smell and taste? Thus, a coffee valve installed on the package is essential on keeping the flavour and it helps to ensure the product quality. It will increase the pleasure on tasting coffee if consumer can find the coffee valve on the package when they buy coffee bean from coffee roasters, because it gives them another level of guarantee on the product quality.
We recommend you keep coffee beans in containers with one-way degassing valve, it helps to prevent quality change and to extend shelf life during ‘resting’.
By combing with some coffee knowledge on flavour, we will also explain the extent of importance of coffee valve on adding value for your coffee product.
Whatever the package form that the business choose, the one-way valve is a necessary component to add on, some information on coffee variety is provided.