Seed To Cup: A Coffee Bean's Journey

Seed To Cup: A Coffee Bean's Journey

Welcome to Bean Around The World! Thank you for choosing our family run coffee shop week after week. 

Coffee is far more than a mere beverage; it is an experiential journey that captivates the senses. From the seed that is carefully nurtured, to the farms where it flourishes, the intricate production methods, the art of roasting, and finally, the moment it is brewed for you in-store or packaged for your enjoyment at home – each cup tells a unique and compelling story.

In this blog, our goal is to let you in on our world of ethical coffee production. We believe in transparency and quality assurance, and we take pride in our commitment to sourcing coffee beans that adhere to fair trade practices, ensuring that the farmers are justly compensated, and minimizing our environmental impact.

So, join us as we dive into the fascinating journey from seed to cup. Together, we will explore the remarkable individuals and meticulous processes that contribute to the creation of your favorite brew.


Picking the Coffee Cherries

Each stage from seed to cup plays a crucial role in delivering a remarkable coffee experience. 

One essential step in the beginning of this journey is the meticulous process of picking coffee cherries by hand. This method ensures that only the highest-quality cherries are selected, which in turn contributes to the exceptional quality of our coffee.

We are incredibly fortunate to have a dedicated team of pickers who have been with us year after year. Their unwavering commitment and expertise result in a consistently even selection of cherries. 

Our friend Ricardo Zeleya is one of our coffee producers in Finca Santa Clara in Guatemala, where we source our Guatemala Santa Clara beans. Zeleya emphasizes the significance of this practice, saying, "We are very lucky that our team of pickers is almost the same every year, which results in a very even selection of cherries and allows our quality to be consistent."

Handpicking cherries allows us to carefully choose only the ripest and finest fruits, ensuring that our coffee beans possess optimal flavor and characteristics. 

Supporting Coffee Farmers

Coffee farmers face various challenges, including volatile market prices and the impacts of climate change. That's why we believe in the significance of fair trade practices, which ensure that farmers receive fair compensation for their hard work and dedication. 

We hold deep respect and gratitude for the communities that allow us to provide our patrons delicious coffee. In 2008, we took on an incredible challenge to build an elementary/middle school on Finca El Carrizal, located in the heart of the Southern Guatemalan jungle. 

This initiative addressed the challenge of distance, enabling children to receive an education right on the farm where their parents work. Prior to building our school, the nearest option was hours away and so many children did not get to have an education. Through our support, we provide teacher salaries, funding for extracurricular activities, and nutritious meals for the students. Every purchase of the Guatemala Santa Clara coffee contributes to the education of a child in Guatemala, making your coffee experience even more meaningful.

Wet Mills: Unveiling the Essence of Arabica Coffees

Our goal is to bring you the finest Arabica coffees, boasting remarkable tasting notes. To achieve this level of excellence, we ensure that only the finest cherries are carefully selected for processing.

These cherries undergo a traditional wet mill process, which involves removing the cherry from the coffee bean through de-pulping and fermenting. This meticulous process extracts the full potential of the beans, setting the stage for the captivating flavors and aromas that await in your cup.

Drying: One Step Closer To Your Cup

Once the cherries have been de-pulped, the next step is drying the beans. In our pursuit of exceptional quality, we employ different methods to accomplish this. Some beans are laid out on concrete patios, where they bask in the sun's warm embrace. This natural drying process allows the beans to gradually release their moisture, preserving their inherent flavors.

Alternatively, we utilize "African beds" inside greenhouses for drying certain beans. This controlled environment enables us to implement specific processing techniques like Naturals and Honeys. By carefully monitoring temperature and humidity, we enhance the overall quality of the drying process, leading to even more extraordinary coffee profiles.

Dry Mills: Refining the Perfect Preparation

At the dry mill, the beans undergo sorting. They are carefully evaluated based on weight, size, density, and color. 

This rigorous selection process ensures that only the highest-quality beans make the cut. 

Once the perfect, clean preparation is achieved, the beans are rested in parchment and polished, enhancing their visual appeal before they leave the finca.

Selling and Exporting: Honouring Tradition and Connection

"We are honoured when our buyers come visit us in Guatemala," shares Zeleya. Once the lots are ready for cupping, we have the privilege of traveling to the farms and personally visiting Ricardo and his family. This is where the true excitement begins as we test and carefully select the lots that capture our curiosity. After making our choices, the team prepares our coffees for export, preserving their unique qualities throughout the journey.

Upon their arrival back home in Vancouver, we take a look at the green beans - ready to begin experimenting with different roast profiles, fine-tuning and perfecting until we achieve the exact flavors we envision. 

Our roasted beans are then delivered to our shops and stores, eagerly waiting to be brewed in exceptional cups of coffee that hopefully, make your morning!

From seed to cup, we are dedicated to upholding the integrity and quality of each and every bean, ensuring that you savor the finest coffee experience with every sip.

See you next time at your favourite neighbourhood Bean Around The World