Coffee: From the Farm to the Foam

Every morning and during that three o’clock slump, throughout a large portion of the world people sit down with a cup of coffee. Whether it be espresso, drip coffee or whatever new contraption they’ve come up with, it all starts in the same place and goes through some of the same processes.

Coffee is grown and harvested in specific regions known for more tropical climates. Coffee beans themselves are grown in coffee berries, that range in color from green to red as they ripen. Once harvested, they are laid out to dry in the sun. Then you have raw coffee beans!

There is much controversy surrounding the coffee trade. Many companies don’t – and often times can’t afford to – practice sustainability or ethical practices. Since the coffee boom started, not many governments in coffee-producing countries have taken the necessary steps to ensure that the market doesn’t collapse, or become outpaced. Costa Rica is an example of coffee grown the right way, since the government has ensured its development and created not only sustainable farming practices but a stable business environment as well.

Next comes roasting. There are countless ways of roasting coffee to bring out certain characteristics and aromas in the finished product. Many companies aim to have consistency in big batches, while others are focused on smaller production roasts that are unique to the bean type and location. Regardless, without this process, coffee wouldn’t be the same without it.

The buying and selling of roasted coffee ranges from huge retail outlets to small mom and pop companies that are directly selling to consumers. Regardless, there is pressure from the environmental community to label packing to reflect good practices on behalf of the coffee growers.

Now comes the real challenge – how do you take your coffee? In the United States, what is known as filter coffee elsewhere is the most common coffee you will find. The standard options with that is sugar or milk. The standard home in the States would have a drip coffee maker as opposed to something like an espresso machine.

Slowly but surely, though, Americans are being introduced to espresso drinks. Largely due to a new influx of Australians in New York City bringing their flat whites and long blacks with them. If you’re keen on trying a new coffee experience at home, compare espresso machines. There’s an espresso machine for everyone, even if you don’t know it yet.

This is an extremely brief overview of what goes into the coffee you drink every morning. There is so much more behind the scenes that influences what it tastes like, its effect on the environment (hello, takeaway cups) and everything else surrounding it. Coffee has to be one of the most controversial ways to start your morning.

Coffee: From the Farm to the Foam Credit Picture License: Ahmed Rabea via photopin cc