A coffee bean is actually a seed of the Coffea albosa plant and its source for caffeine. It’s the outer shell of this red or purple fruit commonly referred to as a bean. Just like other berries, the coffee bean is an ornamental stone fruit. The coffee tree itself can be found in many parts of Central America, including Peru, Panama and Guatemala.
Because it grows in such a remote place, only a few varieties of coffee beans are grown each year. The most popular variety is the robusta bean which is the most commonly grown coffee in the region. Robusta is considered a lower quality than Arabica. This is because unlike Arabica, which is more robust and full-bodied, Robusta tends to be a bit weaker and tends to lack that roast flavor that makes it unique.
Coffee beans are actually berries that have not been dried out completely. In fact, they are closer to the state that they were when they were still green like vegetables. Because of this, coffee cherries contain the highest concentration of beneficial enzymes. These enzymes work to break down the fiber found in the fruit and turn it into sugar (in the form of mucilage). This process also speeds up the breakdown of food (fat) by stimulating the pancreas. So mucilage helps to keep your stomach full and leaves you with a generally better feeling throughout the day.
Robusta is slightly harder to grow than arabica species which makes them less desirable for coffee beans. However, they tend to be sweeter than arabica species which translates into a less bitter but still noticeable taste in the final cup. Robusta is also one of the most widely cultivated and best-selling types of coffee beans. Its flavor profile is closer to that of black coffee beans with a mild spice aroma and slightly more acidic flavor. Arabica species tend to produce a stronger and less acidic flavor. They also produce a milder aroma and more of a roasting effect on the coffee beans, which makes them more popular.
When coffee beans are roasted, they undergo what is called “first crack”. During this step they start to develop an oily and bitter taste. The process of roasting also brings out an aroma and color change. The beans will become darker and the flavor will start to get richer. This process is called “second crack”.
Throughout the coffee producing regions of the world different types of soil are used. Different types of soil result in differences in the flavor of the finished product. There are about seven different types of soil used in the united states of America. Each of these types of soil has its own unique set of characteristics that determine the final taste and color of the coffee beans produced.
The final step in coffee production is called roasting. This is when the coffee beans are heated to bring out their taste. Different methods are used to roast the coffee beans including gas or electric roasts. Some of the most commonly used methods include light, medium and dark roasts. The reason for roasting is to make the beans available as close to their natural flavor as possible.
Green coffee beans which are unroasted are sold as green coffee beans. The roasted ones are referred to as black coffee beans. The difference between the two is that while the green variety is fully roasted, the black variety is partially roasted. In the United States the difference between the two roasts is considered acceptable because the flavor of the black coffee beans is still intact. Black roasts have a more bitter taste and are sometimes considered to be better than the lighter roasted ones.