Makes The Green Coffee Bean Special

By: Kevin Foulds

The green coffee bean sounds a little on the odd side when we say it. After all most people associate coffee beans with a dark or lightish brown colour, and few have seen a green coffee bean. The seeds that come from the plant are commonly known as 'Green Coffee Beans'. They are not precisely beans, they are more like a berry. The 'green coffee beans' are collected from the coffee plantations and then sent to places where they are first roasted, and then ground, and then finely crushed to make coffee powder.

First, the green coffee bean must be picked from plantations. The coffee beans are most frequently picked by hand by labourers who get paid by the basketful. Since coffee beans are a type of drupe, with fruit flesh directly wrapping the coffee bean, after being gathered the flesh of the coffee bean must be promptly removed by soaking, scouring and mechanically rubbing the bean. The de-fruited coffee bean is then cleansed with water to remove sticking fruit and additional sugars before drying. The green coffee beans are then spread over a large concrete or rock plane, where they are dried by air and sunlight.

Coffee beans are given a grade. This is done by color and size. Discolored, decayed and damaged beans are removed.

The process of going from the coffee berry to the dry green coffee bean can be relatively long and may even involve some fermentation.Once this has been completed the green coffee beans should be stored in a container. The container will allow it to breathe and not impart another flavor to the beans: burlap bags, paper bags, etc. This is for obvious reasons. Plastic containers are never used when storing coffee beans for obvious reasons. They are stored at room temperature and out of direct light. They may be kept for a long period of time and are relatively easy to ship abroad.

Green coffee beans have polyphenols which act to help reduce free oxygen radicals in the body. The bean extract is sometimes standardized to more than 50% chlorogenic acid .

Coffee is now a major force in continental countries. It is loved by millions, and is the morning choice for those going to work to start the day. The green coffee bean is the start of the production line. There are many ways to produce the coffee, and depending what you do with the green coffee bean and where it comes from will determine the taste and the outcome of the coffee.

Getting the roasting correct will determine how the coffee beans taste and what sort of flavour is produced. Coffee beans contains a wide variety of chemical compounds including proteins, fats, sugars, dextrin, cellulose, caffeine, and organic acids.

Some of these compounds volatise, oxidize, or decompose as part of the roasting process.The roasting process is very important in producing an aromatic cup of coffee. When roasted, the green coffee bean expands to nearly twice its initial size, changing in color and density.

At this point in the roasting process, the coffee beans will start cracking, quite like popping popcorn. The bean also expels moisture, and, upon reaching 400 degrees Fahrenheit, the color changes to yellow and then to a light 'cinnamon' brown, and oil is released from its interior.

The oil from the coffee bean gives coffee its distinct flavor. The greater the amount of oil released, the stronger the flavor. The coffee beans will crack during the roasting process, which guides roasters as to how to gauge the progression of the roast. The bean will then continue to expel more oil while darkening its color, until such time it is removed from the heat. The final product can be crushed into savoury coffee powder.

Papua New Guinea is just one region that grows the coffee berry. This is mainly grown in the Highland regions rich volcanic soils between the altitudes of 4,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level. Just this fact alone will make the coffee taste different from other areas of growth. It is believed that every factor that comes into play has a bearing on the outcome of the coffee bean. The altitude, the soil, the length of time it is left unpicked, all contribute to the production.

Papua New Guinea coffee is well regarded by consumers for its uniqueness, consistency and special flavor characteristics. They export approximately 2% of the annual world green bean production.

Papua New Guinea coffee beans are highly sought, as they produce a distinct floral and citric flavor and nutty body, and are frequently used to blend with other coffees to produce unique gourmet coffees. Take a look at this website which specialises in the green coffee bean from Papa New Guinea. Visit Coffee Pacifica.

Brazil - continues to be the largest coffee exporter, although the green coffee market has recently been flooded with large amount of Robusta beans from Vietnam. Robusta coffees, which were traded in London at a cheaper price compared to New York's Arabica, are the choice of large industrial clients consisting of multinational roasters and instant coffee producers; they favor these coffees because of the less expensive price. A rare and costly variety of Robusta is the Indonesian Kopi Luwak and the Philippine Kape Alamid. Owing to the indirect pressure exerted by the World Bank to the French government, experts believe that the influx of cheap green coffee resulted from the crisis in pricing that started in 2001, and continues to the present.

Robusta is the cheaper coffee bean. It packs lots of caffeine jolt, but offers only one-dimensional, front-of-mouth flavour. Much of it goes for instant, but a surprising amount becomes the filler in blends. Most industrial espresso roasters say it gives a better crema, or head, but this is rot - robusta is just a way to keep costs down and drinkers' nerves jangled.

Arabica beans have finer, more complex flavours and are less highly-caffeinated. They are a little like wine grapes, they include many sub-varieties and variations in terroir, and different skills in picking, de-fruiting, drying, sorting, ageing, roasting and packing the beans offer a coffee lover endless opportunities for subtlety and surprise.

Where To Go For A Coffee In London. Most people visit a Starbucks or a Costa Coffee for a decent coffee when they are out and about. At 2.25 for a normal cup this is no longer good value for money, and you dont get the feel of having that decent cup of coffee that you longed for.

If you are in Central London then I would recommend a visit to Connaught Square, commonly known as 'Connaught Village' just off the Edgware Road. It is a 2 minute walk from Marble Arch tube station, and 200 metres from the bottom end of Hyde Park. There is a small coffee shop on the corner of Connaught Square called Markus Coffee. It has recently been refurbished by the owner, who has been blending and producing his magnificent coffee for over 25 years. Roasting takes place every day and the fresh aromatic smell is amazing. It is the best coffee in London. Well worth a visit.

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Excellent Information and Advice on Great Tea and Coffee Locations, visit our website at The Best Coffee Places In London, and The Best Tea Rooms In England

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