From bean to Bèkske cup
THE PROCESS IN 10 STEPS
Step #1 | Planting of the seeds
A coffee bean starts as a seed. They are planted in large beds in shady nurseries. The seedlings are regularly watered and sheltered from bright sunlight until they are sturdy enough to be planted permanently. Planting happens most during the wet season to remain the soil moist while the roots grow firmly.
Step # 2 | The harvest
After 3 to 4 years, it is time to harvest the 1st. Usually 1 large harvest per year of the crop takes place. The Bèkske coffee beans are selected manually and selectively: only the ripe, red cherries are picked. Because this type of harvest is labour intensive and more expensive, this is mainly used to harvest the finer Arabica beans.
Step # 3 | The washing station: processing the cherry
After picking, the processing will start as soon as possible in the washing station – Nyamurinda washing station. In this stage, the berries or cherries, are water-filtered: the good quality berries are separated from the smaller berries and the ones containing diseases or insects, where at the same time the external skin layer is removed releasing 2 beans per berry. The beans are now captured in big basins, ready for the text step: drying.
Step #4 | Drying the beans
The beans are dried in the sun by spreading them on drying tables, where they are regularly turned. The cherries dry for a few weeks, until about 11% of the moisture has evaporated. The dried beans are known as parchment coffee and are stored in jute or sisal bags for export.
Step # 5 | Grinding the beans
During the grinding, a number of steps are taken: the last dried husk (the dry rind) is removed, after which the beans are sorted by size and weight. Beans with colour abnormalities or other imperfections are also removed, resulting in only the best quality coffee beans to be exported.
Step # 6 | Transport
The still unroasted beans are loaded into containers on the ship in burlap or sisal bags with plastic inner linings.
Step #7 | Cupping
The coffee is evaluated in this step on scent and taste, also called Cardenas. To taste the coffee, the Cupper slurps a spoon, keeping the coffee evenly over the palate. Coffee is not only analysed to determine its characteristics and deficiencies, but also to mix different beans or create the right branding.
Step # 8 | Roasting
When roasting the beans, not only changes the color of the raw green coffee bean, but also the structure, the size and especially the taste and aroma. The roasting of coffee is done in large, slowly rotating drums, which are heated to 205° Celsius. The is variation in coffee by the temperature, the roasting time and the air/coffee ratio in the burner. A gentle branding leads to a soft, light-colored coffee. More intensive burning leads to strong, powerful coffee.
Step # 9 | Grinding the beans
The goal of a good grind is to get the most of the taste in a cup of coffee. How coarse or fine the coffee is ground depends on the method of preparation. The more fine the grind, the faster the coffee should be prepared. That’s why the coffee grinding of an espresso machine is much finer than putting coffee in a drip system.
Step #10 | Brewing the coffee
However the coffee is prepared, the most optimal tasting moments is immediately after the making of: make only as much coffee as you can drink immediately.
Taste Bèkske coffee with as much attention as the coffee is prepared – many people have helped for getting this delicious cup of coffee.