Go Green: A Brief History About Green Coffee Seeds
Can you identify the aroma, the taste, and the texture of deliciously roasted beans? Now imagine the bean before it’s roasted dense, light in color with a grassy, herbal scent. This is called Green Coffee Seeds. The main difference between the two is density, moisture content, and of course taste!
Below is a basic history of the green coffee bean and how it came to be served as a roasted, brewed luxury.
The discoveries aren’t certain, but it’s thought that the main two families, Arabica and Robusta, were discovered at least 1,000 years ago in separate parts of Africa. Arabica in South Sudan and Ethiopia, and Robusta in West Africa. Of course, the seeds weren’t found perfectly roasted as we serve here at Fonté but people still very quickly discovered the invigorating offerings of the coffee beans. The beans would be harvested from the coffee plant and removed from the cherry, and blended with fat and seeds to create energy bars before traveling; leaves from the plant were boiled with the removed cherry skin for an herbal infusion.
African slaves likely carried coffee across the Red Sea, making its way into Asia. By the 1400s, Sufis were drinking coffee cherry tea to help them stay alert during prayer. Solely driven by taste, the first roasters appeared in Arabia in the 1500s, where the coffee was lightly roasted on metal and porcelain pans and ground prior to drinking. This method spread to Turkey, Egypt, and North America, and laid the foundation for the coffee we drink today. The Arabs were the first to trade coffee, and within a few hundred years, coffee was a worldly traded commodity.
Cultivation of green coffee happens in different ways the world over, owing to the diversity in local customs, climate, and geography. The oldest and most traditional coffee growing methods are still used in parts of Central America and India. Coffea plants grow alongside other types of plants, at high elevations, with the protection from the sun’s rays.
This is in great contrast to a major producer like Brazil. Where intensive, large-scale cultivation relies on sunlight, and where significant investments are required in irrigation and mechanical harvesting equipment. There is a great environmental impact on cultivation.
The Beans Collection
Coffee plants bloom in the rain, so flowers and fruit come together, making the collection a complicated affair. Hand selection of cherries (each containing two beans) one-by-one, is expensive but conducive to higher quality. Under an alternative method, stripping, every fruit, whether mature or immature. An alternate method, whereby branches are shaken mechanically, also requires further inspection and separation. Neither stripping nor shaking is necessarily efficient, even though fruit is initially collected in higher volumes.
Once collected, sticks, leaves, stones, and other natural foreign bodies will be removed from the cherries.
The green coffee Seeds
The green coffee seeds (beans) are extracted from the fruit (cherries) in one of two ways by washing or drying. These produce what the industry calls “natural green coffee”.
a) Washed Coffee
First strips the fruit mechanically then put in water tanks where residual pulp ferments well and will be removed easily. Thereafter, the green coffee seeds are set to dry.
b) Natural Coffee
Cherry fruit gets dry in the sun for up to 20 days. Once the peels, pulp, and seeds are all completely dry, machines come in the picture to separate the beans. The seeds resulting from both processes green coffee beans. Generally speaking, the larger the beans are, the higher the price it can fetch.
Green Coffee Today
Most of the consumers only know about roasted beans, but fresh, green coffee is being exported and imported around the globe. In recent years, the medical world has declared green coffee to have high amounts of chlorogenic acid, which has been associated with monitoring high blood pressure and regulating blood sugar and metabolism.
Regardless of whatever benefits are out there, we highly suggest you consume green coffee seeds for good health.