Bean To Cup Process

Bean To Cup Process

Making the “The Perfect Coffee for Any Occasion” our coffee comes from very
carefully selected plantations from across the world where only the highest quality
beans are produced.

1Coffee Plant Cultivation

  • The coffee nursery tends the young coffee plants until they reach maturity; this is a 5 year process.
  • The coffee tree then joins a coffee plantation.

The quality and flavour of the coffee depends on many variables such as: the soil, the altitude, the temperature, the amount of sunshine, the inclination of the slope, the water quantity and the care given to the tree.

2Growth Cycle

The coffee tree flowers and the blossom lasts for about two weeks. The coffee cherries are formed and ripen around eight months after the emergence of the flower, they change colour from green to red and then should be harvested.

3Harvesting

There are 3 main methods of harvesting:

Stripping Method

Consists in stripping the coffee cherries off the tree all at once regardless of whether they are
all ripe. This method often leads to unripe and over ripe cherries being picked, which affect the end cup quality.

Handpicking

This method involves selecting only the ripe cherries, leaving the green ones on the tree until they ripen. This process ensures the highest quality coffee and is generally left for the fine quality arabicas.

Mechanical Stripping Method

This is a mechanical version of the stripping method. It tends to be more aggressive and leads to poorer cup quality.

Rombouts aims to buy the very best coffee beans and therefore prefers to select coffee from plantations that adopt the ‘Hand Picking’ method.

4Processing The Coffee

The coffee cherries need to have the fruit or pulp removed leaving the seed or bean which is then dried. There are three main methods to extract the coffee beans from the cherries.

The Dry Method - Natural or Unwashed

The cherries are laid in the sun to dry for up to three weeks or are dried by machines. The cherries are then sent to the mill for hulling sorting and grading.

The Wet Method - Washed

The cherries are put in water to soften the shell and to sort out . Once the shell is soft, the cherries are squeezed in a depulper and then soaked in fermentation tanks for up to 30 hours. Finally the beans must be dried to a water content of about 10% before they are stable. The beans still have a skin or parchment around them which helps preserve their quality this is rubbed off before grading and shipping.

Semi washed - Honey Processed

This is a hybrid process used in mainly Indonesia and Brazil, but recently spreading to other producing countries. In this process, farmers remove the outer skin from the cherries mechanically, using pulping machines. The coffee beans, still coated with mucilage, are then stored for up to a day. Following this period, the mucilage is washed off and the parchment coffee is partially dried in the sun before sale. This process is said to reduce acidity and increase body.

The majority of the coffee Rombouts buy tends to be wet processed, but we do source and purchase quantities of dry processed and semi-washed coffee depending on the quality and flavour profiles they offer.

5Selection, Grading, Transportation, Tasting & Storage


Selection

In the best plantations, the green coffee beans are carefully sorted by hand so that only the best beans are selected. Rombouts prefers to buy coffee from these plantations.

Transportation

Rombouts only buys coffee in joust bags as this ensures a better quality. On arrival at the Rombouts factory the beans will be tasted for the second time.

Grading

Buyers judge the quality of the green beans first on the basis of their appearance and then by tasting.

Storage

The coffee beans are then stored the green beans can be kept for several months without deteriorating. Before any production, the beans are tasted a third time.