From Farm to Cup: the journey behind your morning brew
We take pride in every aspect of our coffee, from the carefully selected beans to the precise roasting process. Are you interested in knowing what all took place to get you the perfect cup of Mama Java?
Let's dive into the interesting story of THE BEAN!
The Beginnings: supporting coffee farmers around the globe
Our journey begins at the source: the coffee plantations. Here are the farmers who spend their days planting, caring for, and harvesting coffee for the world to enjoy. At Mama Java we are committed to only using coffee that is good for the planet while supporting and empowering coffee farmers around the world.
One of our Direct Trade Farms is the Ramirez Estate in the Dominican Republic. I, Jeannine, was fortunate to be able to visit the estate and share the behind the scenes of our Single Origin Dominican Coffee in this video.
The Harvesting Process: handpicking excellence
Harvesting - The two methods used for harvesting coffee cherries
1. Strip picking can be done by machine or by hand. With this method all coffee cherries are stripped from the tree at the same time regardless of maturity level. This method is a lot quicker and easier, but there is a higher risk of unripe and defective coffee being taken to the next level of processing, which will make your coffee more bitter. It can also cause damage to the fruit and coffee trees. Gourmet coffees (like Mama Java) do not use this method.
2. Selective hand picking ensures only ripe cherries are chosen leading to superior coffee with refined flavors. Despite the extra cost and time, we know that the care and attention given by expert pickers leads to superior coffee.
Drying - Two popular methods used for drying coffee
1. Washed / Wet process - freshly harvested coffee cherries are soaked in water at a processing mill. Unripe or overly mature cherries float and are removed which eliminates a lot of defected berries. Ripe cherries undergo de-pulping which separates the beans from the cherries but still leaves the beans covered in parchment and mucilage. Fermenting the beans in tanks removes the mucilage, and then the clean beans are sun-dried in their parchment. This method retains acidity and ensures flavor consistency.
2. Natural / Dry process - After the coffee cherries have been picked, they are spread out in the sun to dry on raised beds or large patios. The cherries are turned occasionally to help them dry evenly. As they dry, the cherries' natural sugars infuse the beans, resulting in a fruity and full-bodied flavor. Once fully dried, the beans rest inside the fruit and then are peeled (hulled) to remove all parchment and husk that covers the beans.
Grading and Sorting
The dried coffee beans undergo grading and sorting based on size, weight, and visual quality. Defective beans, including those with unacceptable size, color flaws, over-fermentation, insect damage, or unhulled, are removed. In many countries this process is carried out both by machine and by hand, (like our Direct Trade farm in the Dominican Republic) ensuring that only the finest quality coffee beans are selected for export.
The Art of Roasting: hand crafted, small batch, artisan roasted
The green coffee beans arrive at our roastery and then the real magic begins! We’ve partnered with a family owned business that started over 30 years ago specializing in hand crafted, small batch, artisan roasted coffee. . This means that every order is carefully roasted to unlock the optimal flavor of the specific coffee bean variety. We roast using only 100% Arabica Beans which is one of the details that sets us apart from big box supermarkets. To keep the cost down, these brands use Robusta or a blend of Robusta and Arabica which compromises taste and quality.
A Fresh Promise: roasted to order
While many brands roast coffee ahead of time and have it sitting on the shelf ready for shipping, we don't roast your beans until you actually place your order! We then roast and ship on the same day so you can enjoy the freshest roasted coffee in all it’s delightful goodness!
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