From Seed to Cup

High quality coffee starts with the grower. Farmers in coffee producing countries work tirelessly to grow and harvest the finest beans. The end result is quality beans that will be roasted, ground and brewed for a delicious cup of coffee. Join us as we explore the coffee producing process in a community like San Lucas, Guatemala.

Planting

The best Arabica seeds are selected for planting by hand in special nursery beds of a mixture of soil and compost to produce future coffee crops.  After 5 to 8 weeks, the plant is placed into planting bags where it grows for about six more weeks.  Then, the young coffee plant is delicately transplanted under a canopy of tropical trees.

Growing

It may take 3 to 4 years for a coffee plant to reach maturity. The full shade canopy allows the coffee plants to slowly mature and the beans to develop with more natural sugar and complex flavors. From March to May workers diligently trim shade and coffee trees to ensure sufficient sunlight and space to grow. In June any remaining debris is cleared and fertilizer is applied.

The heavy rains from June to September provide needed moisture to the area and jasmine-like flowers begin to develop on the coffee trees. These delicate flowers develop into small green buds on the coffee plants. In October the coffee buds begin to ripen into red cherries.

Harvesting

The coffee harvest begins in November when the coffee buds start to ripen and continues through February. Families hand pick the fully ripe beans, quickly filling baskets. At the end of the day, the crop is combined into 100 pound bags and carried to town for processing.

Processing

The red beans must be treated and washed immediately. So, late into the night, workers wash beans and monitor the machine that de-pulps the coffee – removing the beans from the red shell. The red pulp is saved and added to compost piles, to bring nutrients to the coffee plants next year.

The coffee beans are soaked and washed over two to three days to remove the natural coating of the fresh coffee beans. Afterwards, the coffee beans are transferred to the sun for drying. Over the next 8 to 10 days the coffee beans will be raked hourly so that the beans dry evenly. The resulting (pergamino) beans have a dry, beige shell that is removed mechanically and kept as fertilizer.

Roasting 

The roasting of “green” coffee beans brings the oil to the surface of the bean and unlocks the flavor. In San Lucas, they are roasted over an open fire in rotating black barrels. Roasting requires constant attention to make sure that the coffee does not burn and reaches the proper mahogany color. The resulting beans are cleaned and packaged for enjoyment around the world.

Grinding 

Freshly and uniformly ground coffee is an important component of a great cup of coffee. A burr grinder is preferred by coffee experts to a blade grinder because it produces much more uniformity of grind size. Grinding coffee beans creates lots of surfaces for hot water exposure – extracting the flavor from coffee beans. If coffee is too finely ground for your method of brewing, it results in over-extraction and a harsh flavor. If beans are too coarsely ground, your coffee will be weak.

Brewing

Without the proper brewing technique, you may not extract great flavor from your coffee. Or, even worse, you could turn great beans into bitter coffee.

Factors to consider for optimal coffee brewing include time, temperature and turbulence. The time your coffee grounds are in contact with water helps to determine the extraction. For drip brewing, the optimal contact time is no longer than 6 minutes. Coffee grounds should come into contact with water at a temperature of 195 – 205 degrees for best extraction. The last factor to consider is turbulence – creating the movement of the coffee grounds so that water can permeate all the grounds evenly.

 
Tips & Tricks
Best Drip Coffee Maker

Use good-tasting water. Any 'off tastes' in your water will be carried over into your brewed coffee.  If you can taste chlorine in your water, your coffee will have a nice swimming pool note.

Brew Better

The BUNN Brewing Difference Perfect coffee flavor is robust without bitterness and is determined by three elements in brewing: water temperature, the time ground coffee is exposed to the water and how much of the coffee is exposed to the water.

High Altitude?
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Do you live in a high altitude environment?  If you live at an altitude higher than 4,000 ft, you need a BUNN coffee brewer that has been designed specifically for a lower boiling temperature.  All BUNN brewers that have a (D) designation after the model name are pre-set for these conditions.