And so we come to the end of the great coffee odyssey, a journey which takes a simple ingredient from the rich soil of the tropics all the way to your favourite mug (or coffee bar). After such a long journey, the humble little fruit we call coffee finally makes its way to your shores. Green coffee is exported before it is roasted, as once roasted, the shelf life of a unprotected product like our Italian coffee beans is only around 10-14 days. Once in a sealed bag however we can extend this to 24 months as the bags contain a valve which only allows air to escape. Roasted coffee beans give off CO2 and thus without this valve, the bag would explode.
Green coffee beans are roasted by hot air in a drum machine. It is this stage that will release the distinctive aroma and taste that we all love so well. The coffee beans roll and tumble around at between 180°C and 240°C, for 3 to 12 minutes, depending on the type of flavour desired. Lower temperatures give a lighter, fruitier flavour, while higher temperatures result in a darker bean and a more bitter taste.
Once roasted, most coffee beans are kept dry and warm, since the beans can still absorb moisture and this will affect the flavour.
Now the coffee beans are ready for grinding. We grind coffee because it gives the beans a bigger surface area and thus allows the flavour to be drawn out more easily. Once ground, coffee will only stay fresh for around 15 minutes, so it is imperative that the beans are only ground just before brewing and serving.
Like every other stage of the journey, how the coffee is ground will depend on how it is going to be used. For example, a French press (or cafetière) requires a coarser grind, in order that the grains of coffee do not breach the filter and ruin the drink. However an espresso machine, or one of our ESE coffee pods, needs the coffee to be a powder so it can be firmly packed into a ‘puck’ and brewed under pressure, resulting in a smooth, bittersweet, drink.
If we’ve got your mouth watering, why not take a look at what we have to offer here.