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Coffee production is the method of converting raw coffee cherries into the finished coffee beans. There are various ways of processing coffee, which can significantly affect the flavors. In addition, the final format of the coffee products and how people drink their brewed coffee also plays an important role in the taste. A huge increase in demand for high-quality coffee products means that smaller-scale producers can leverage quality and innovation to benefit from this enormous potential.
Coffee processing technologies
After harvesting, coffee cherries need to be processed in either dry or wet method to have the fruits, known as mucilage, which cover the beans, removed. When the skin is removed to leave only the mucilage, it is referred to as the pulping process.
The beans are then separated by weights and sizes by rotating drums or screening sieves. After the beans are dried and graded, they are ready for roasting. Sometimes, the different beans are blended to create desired taste. When it comes to the wet process, fermentation of the coffee beans in essential. Therefore, specialized coffee fermentation tanks will need to be used to achieve this.
Since coffee’s characteristic flavor and aroma only develops until beans are roasted, roasting is an essential step in the process. After roasting, coffee beans are usually ground in roll mills. The primary goal of grinding is to produce the most taste in a cup of coffee, while the type of grinding determines how fast the coffee can release its flavors.
Producing instant coffee
Instant coffee is made from roasted and ground coffee. The grounded beans are extracted with hot water to retrieve the aroma and the flavor. The coffee extract can then be dried in two different ways: spray drying or freeze drying. In spray drying, the coffee extract is sprayed into a stream of hot water, it dries fast and becomes fine powder when reaching the bottom. In freeze-drying, the coffee extract is frozen to about – 40°C and cut into granules. The quality of the aroma and flavor are protected by the very low temperature and gentle drying conditions. Finally, the granules of instant coffee can be packed into sachets or glass jars.
Sustainable trend in coffee packaging
Due to the raising awareness on climate change and social responsibility, sustainability in the coffee industry has become vital considerations. From the perspective of coffee packaging, there’s a growing trend of using eco-friendly materials. Environmental impacts are eliminated in different stages within the production line. With coffee capsules waste at an all time high, products like biodegradable, dissolvable capsules aim to reduce environmental impact while still offering high quality coffee conveniently at home. Recyclable and biodegradable materials are also widely adopted for coffee bean bags or boxes.
How to pack your beans or coffee powders?
The quality of coffee beans or ground coffee is quickly diminished by oxygen in the air; oxygen breaks down the precious aromas in the coffee, and the flavor becomes flat. To guarantee as far as possible that the flavor of the coffee enjoyed by the consumer is as good as when it left the factory, coffee beans or ground coffee is very often vacuum or soft-vacuum packed, so that no air can get in.