It’s one of the age-old coffee questions, where does coffee come from? Does it grow in a tree? On a bush? Is it really a bean?
You may know the answers to these questions if you are a coffee fanatic like we are. But most people haven’t stopped to really think about where their coffee comes from. As a specialty coffee shop in Downtown Minneapolis, the origins of the coffee we serve is very important to us.
Let’s take a look at where your morning cup of coffee came from.
Does Coffee Grow on Trees?
Coffee does in fact grow on trees. The coffea tree is a small tree sometimes also considered a shrub.
A coffee tree can grow up to 16 feet tall, however, most farmers will prune them to closer to 6 feet for picking. Pruning regularly also helps increase a tree’s yield.
Shade-grown coffee is the traditional approach to growing and cultivating coffee. This method mimics the way coffee is grown naturally in the forest under the tree canopy. Coffee that is grown at the right altitude under the shade is likely to take longer to ripen which is actually a good thing. It allows the coffee bean to become very dense and more flavorful.
In addition to cultivating shade-grown coffee, farmers can help their plants survive the hot sun by:
- planting their trees on east-facing slopes, where the sun only shines in the morning
- ensuring their trees are well-watered
- selecting hardy varieties
- Along with shade, Arabica coffee trees like the following conditions:
- temperatures between 59 and 77ºF
- annual rainfall of 59 to 118 inches (preferably on the lower end of this range)
- elevations above 1,800 feet, up to 6,300 feet
Is Coffee Really a Bean?
Coffee beans aren’t like traditional beans at all. Most beans grow in pods found on vines. The coffee bean is actually the pit of coffee cherries that grow on the coffea tree. These cherries slightly resemble grapes
Coffee cherries mature over several months after a flower has bloomed for about a month. During their maturation, the cherries progress from a bright green to pink, red, dark red, purple, and, eventually, black. This process for Arabica specialty coffee varieties takes about five to six months.
Once the coffee cherry is picked it then continues its journey to the roasting process and eventually is brewed in our coffee shop.
Specialty Coffee in Downtown Minneapolis
From the Coffea tree to your steaming cup. We value each step of the process. For a high-quality cup of specialty coffee in Downtown Minneapolis, join us at 7 Corners Coffee.