What is a Coffee Bean?
A coffee bean is actually a seed of the Coffee albica plant and the main source of coffee. It's the pip within the black or red fruit also known as a cherry. Like other normal cherries, the coffee cherry is also an so-called hard stone fruit. The taste of this fruit is quite bitter and oily. This makes it very difficult to preserve, hence, the process of dehydration or canning.
Where Coffee Grows?
Coffee grows in a number of places all over the world, especially on the high altitudes of Africa, the Arab States, and even Arabia. Usually, farmers grow coffee beans on high, hot altitudes in order to produce a large crop that can be marketed. The plants are able to grow well at high altitudes because they can actually tolerate temperatures up to 50 degrees Celsius, which is much higher than the average temperatures experienced around the globe. The high temperatures help the plants to grow quickly and reach their harvest much earlier than plants grown at lower temperatures.
The high-altitude environment of these high elevations also helps the coffee beans to attain their maximum flavor. However, some regions are more ideal for growing coffee beans than others. Coffee grown in the Western Hemisphere is able to tolerate cold weather much better than arabica beans. Arabica beans can only tolerate extreme cold temperatures and would eventually perish from exposure. These factors contribute to the fact that coffee grown in certain areas of the world is more flavorful than coffee beans grown in other areas.
When Coffee Grows?
When coffee beans reach maturity they enter what is called "the pruning season." During this time the plants are subject to vigorous cleaning to ensure that there are no uninvited insects or pests. After pruning the plants are moved to a warmer location where they are able to fully acclimatize to the new environment. During the winter the plants are returned to the nursery to be nourished and re-irrigated.
Coffee Bean Roasting Process
The coffee plant does not enter into the process of roasting until after the winter dormancy period has passed. At this time the coffee plant is ready for its first commercial grade crop. Roasting begins when the beans are exposed to the air. Green coffee beans have a lighter coffee flavor than darker roasted beans. Some roasters choose to roast green coffee beans in order to preserve the flavor, but many prefer the darker, smokier taste of a traditionally-brewed cup of Joe.
Types of Coffee Beans
There are several different types of coffee bean, each with a different unique appearance, aroma and taste. The Robusta bean has a very mild, fruit-sweet, nutty and woody flavor. Arabica beans are more robust and have a rich, bold, peppery flavor. Kona coffee beans are high in caffeine and high in potassium; these beans are also found mainly in Hawaii, and are prized for their thick, dark color and subtle, earthy aroma.
As you can imagine, all three of these coffee beans come from different climates and areas. While some coffee beans come from one specific area or region, others come from another specific area. For example, Central America's Coffee Bean region is quite extreme, with hot temperatures and dry, windy weather.
But, coffee beans are more than just the type of bean that they are and the way they are harvested. There is more to coffee, other than the type of bean and the way it is harvested. The coffee bean, orchids as they are sometimes called, are a living organism. They reproduce by means of a thin membrane called a thin membrane bean extractor. This thin membrane allows the little bugs inside to get the food they need without the interference of their predators.