The Journey From Seed to Cup
We drink coffee every day but we rarely question where our coffee comes from. There is a good chance there is a farmer in a coffee producing region who hand picked and hand processed your coffee beans! It’s important to understand that the coffee we purchase is often directly linked to a farmers. This farmer or family will work hard all year for one harvest – two if they’re lucky – and coffee is often their primary source of income for the entire year.
A coffee bean is actually a seed. When a coffee seed is not dried, roasted and sold it can be planted and a coffee tree will grow. Coffee seeds are initial germinated under a layer of dried leaves and watered often (Pictured to the left). Once the seeds have germinated thee leaves are removed and the seed begin to grow (Picture below).
Once the germinated seed reach a certain height they are transplanted into seedling bags (Picture below left). This is where the coffee tree will remain for several months before it is transplanted to the farm. From the time a coffee seed is planted it it will take approximately 3 years to begin to produce coffee. During this time the coffee tree will grow and can reach upwards of 3 meters in height. (A growing coffee tree is picture below middle and full grow coffee trees are pictured below right)
A coffee seed is actually the pit of a coffee cherry. The coffee cherries start out green and eventually ripen, turning a vibrant red. The transition from green to red can be seen pictured below. In Haiti coffee is still picked by hand so each cherry must be carefully hand picked when it is fully ripe. Coffee cherries grow in bunches and are beautiful when fully ripe!
Once picked goes the cherry are cleaned and sorted for ripeness (Picture below left and middle) The next stage is removing the pulp (depulping) and is most often done by hand (Pictured below right)
After depulping we are left with the coffee seed! This seed is dried in the sun until it reaches an optimal moisture level - coffee beans in Haiti are dried on cement slabs. (Pictured above) The beans then go through final processing (deparchement) where a small layer of parchment is removed. Now the beans are ready for export, they are weighed, bagged and sent overseas in 60kg burlap sacks. (Pictured below)
The bean have now arrived in Canada and are ready for roasting! This process is where the true flavors and aromas of our coffees come out. Each batch of coffee is roasted carefully to capture the essence of Haitian coffee (Pictured below). After roasted the beans are immediately packaged to keep them as fresh as possible!