The coffee bean you are used to seeing starts as a coffee cherry. Yep, that's right. The coffee bean is the seed inside. Seeds in fact, there are even two beans inside each cherry!
There are 5 layers to the coffee cherry:
- PULP — The pulp is the outside of the cherry; similar to the skin or rind that you would find on other fruits.
- MUCILAGE — The mucilage is a sticky substance under the pulp that is similar to the consistency of honey.
- PARCHMENT — This protects the seeds while the fruit is attached to the tree. During the drying process, this layer begins to feel like a thin sheet of paper.
- CHAFF — Lying on top of the two seeds is the chaff. This layer is thinner than the rest and presents a silver sheen to it. Roasters will also refer to the chaff as silver skin for this very reason.
- SEED — Finally, what we know all know and love is the coffee bean. This is what is left after the milling and roasting processes are finished.
So, how does that seed get transformed into that fantastic drink you have every day? Well, we'll save that for some future did you knows.
And remember, coffee's too important to drink bad coffee!