What are coffee beans?

Most people understand that coffee comes from a bean, but how they are cultivated to bring you your cup of morning joy remains known by few.

The coffee tree can grow naturally over nine metres high, though they are usually stumped shorter to conserve their energy and help the harvesting process. This is because they have a better yield in a limited space. The trees sprout green leaves with the coffee cherries growing alongside them. It takes on average three to four years for this plant to produce fruit. The average tree produces around four to five kilos of coffee cherry every year. This plant is grown in a number of different varieties, which gives the beans many different characteristics around size and flavour.

The coffee plant sprouts coffee cherries, and inside these cherries are their seeds. These seeds are known as coffee beans. The skin of this cherry is the exocarp. Before it ripens it is a green colour, until it turns yellow , pink or red depending on the variety. It is important to note the difference between the green coffee cherries and green coffee beans, where green coffee beans are the unripened seeds inside the cherry.

After the exocarp is the mesocarp which is also known as the pulp in the cherry. It is combined with many layers full of sugars, which is essential in the fermentation process. Beneath this are the seeds or coffee beans, technically called endosperm. There are typically two beans in a cherry.

There are more than 120 different types of coffee beans, but the two most famous varieties are the Arabica and Robusta beans. Arabica is the most popular, with its balanced flavour and aroma, while Robusta is known for its higher caffeine concentration. A single origin coffee beans are beans that originate from a particular place and are the result of a type of plant growing in one place. The Jimmy Grindz Single Origin is from Finca La Palapa, Mexico and has apple, peach, plum, cocoa and vanilla flavours.

Instant coffee makers tend to use Robusta beans, which can have a bitter aftertaste and are preferred by people who brew their coffee fresh over the more aromatic Arabica beans. It is grown mainly for its aroma, so it is mainly used in the production of dark roasted espresso.

If you have seen a bag of ground coffee beans with “Espresso” written on it, the beans have been roasted more to a dark espresso roast. An espresso bean is simply the bean that is roasted to espresso, whether it is brewed with espresso machines or Delter Press processes. Traditionally Arabica beans are the most popular variety for espresso beans, as well as for coffee in general.

Robusta is much easier to grow than Arabica, which is why it is cheaper than other coffee beans. Robusta coffee beans have a higher caffeine content than Arabica beans. In fact, caffeine is part of what makes the Robusta plant so robust, but it is up to the coffee drinker and his consumers to understand the effect of this stimulant, as all coffee beans contain a high content of it. Arabicas, on the other hand, contain less caffeine and tend to be higher quality, so they contain less caffeine, but are more nutritious than their more expensive counterparts. Want to enjoy the delicious flavour anyway, but don’t want the effects of caffeine? The Swiss water processed Columbian Decaf blend from Jimmy Grindz will bring you a clean taste with honey and cocoa flavours.

The green beans are roasted on a scale from light to dark, giving us the coffee beans we know and love. Coffee beans that have been roasted for a longer period of time are less dense, but still dense, than coffee beans that have not been roasted for that long. If they are immature, they will not make a good cup of coffee, but they will cause a bad taste in your mouth, and they can change your taste for coffee when you buy them.