Well we are all rested at TnT Coffee Roasters and thinking about our day ahead of us. The first day of the week is always a fun day for us. This is a normal roast day for us. Many ask about how we get our coffee at TnT Coffee Roasters and Pappa T is going to take a minute to share with you how coffee is grown and gets to TnT Coffee Roasters.
Coffee is a cherry grown on a tree and is often hand picked by families who earn a living walking the hills and often mountainous areas in which coffee trees/bushes grow. Some of the best coffees are grown in elevations between 4,500 to 6,000 feet. The argument is that the higher the elevation the better the coffee. We personally think elevation has some degree of influence in the flavors, but most often the soil and surroundings have more to do with the flavors of coffee.
As we said earlier the families will hand pick these cherries. A good picker averages approximately 100 to 200 pounds of coffee cherries a day, which will produce 20 to 40 pounds of coffee beans. Each worker’s daily haul is carefully weighed, and each picker is paid on the merit of his or her work. The day’s harvest is then transported to the processing plant.
Once the cherries are picked and brought to the processing plant they need to be processed immediately to prevent fruit spoilage. There are two methods of processing that are most common. (Although this is the latest craze these days, finding new methods of fermentation to affect the flavors of coffee)
Dry processing is an age old method, and still used in many countries where water resources are limited. The freshly picked cherries are simply spread out on huge surfaces to dry in the sun. In order to prevent the cherries from spoiling, they are raked and turned throughout the day, then covered at night or during rain to prevent them from getting wet. Depending on the weather, this process might continue for several weeks for each batch of coffee until the moisture content of the cherries drops to 11%.
Wet processing removes the pulp from the coffee cherry after harvesting so the bean is dried with only the parchment skin left on. First, the freshly harvested cherries are passed through a pulping machine to separate the skin and pulp from the bean.
Then the beans are separated by weight as they pass through water channels. The lighter beans float to the top, while the heavier ripe beans sink to the bottom. They are passed through a series of rotating drums which separate them by size.
If the beans have been processed by the wet processed, the pulped and fermented beans must now be dried to approximately 11% moisture to properly prepare them for storage.
Finally in the milling process the defective beans are removed either by hand or by machinery. Beans that are unsatisfactory due to deficiencies (unacceptable size or color, over-fermented beans, insect-damaged, unhulled) are removed. In many countries, this process is done both by machine and by hand, ensuring that only the finest quality coffee beans are exported.
The milled beans, now referred to as green coffee, are loaded onto ships in either jute or sisal bags loaded in shipping containers, or bulk-shipped inside plastic-lined containers. The standard bag of coffee shipped to the US is around 60 kg. Pappa T buys coffee broken down into 30 kg boxes.
Once the green coffee beans arrive at TnT Coffee Roasters we inventory and roast a couple pounds to test the coffee for flavors. This is called cupping. Pappa T will often edit the cupping notes in the shopping cart so you the customer can find a coffee that matches your palate.
As you can see many hours of preparation have gone into bringing you a “Little Love In Each Cup” of Fresh Roasted TnT Coffee.
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