Our heroes, the coffee beans, are actually the seeds of the evergreen coffee tree. The beans form inside coffee cherries (the fruit) that ripen to a bright red colour when they’re ready to give up their bounty. It takes between 3 and 4 years for a newly planted coffee tree to bear fruit.
Once the cherries have ripened, they need to be harvested within a fortnight or they will become over-ripe. Each tree yields on average 2 to 4 kilos of cherries. The unroasted coffee beans are a greenish colour and are unsurprisingly known as green beans.
The beans must be removed from the cherries and dried before they can be roasted. This is the most important part of the process – too dry and they become brittle, too wet and they’ll deteriorate rapidly. To guarantee the best quality, a proportion of the beans are dried under the tropical afternoon sun for up to four weeks, and may need to be turned by hand every half hour.
The flavour and aroma of your favourite coffee is down to the roasting. The green beans are heated until the perfect level of roasting is achieved. As moisture is lost, the beans ‘pop’, much like popcorn. The beans are then ground and are ready to be turned into delicious Kenco coffee.
Kenco is part of Coffee Made Happy. This programme helps to make coffee farming profitable, sustainable as well as attractive to the next generation of farmers.
Have you tried our Brazilian coffee? Or maybe a cup of Peruvian? Enjoy a world of choice.
If you have a question about coffee, please just ask. It’s our favourite subject, after all.