ABOUT OUR COFFEE

We are very hands on with the farms we get our coffee from and the beans they grow. Sustainability and fair trade are very important factors for Brooklyn Bean. Additionally, how the coffee is grown and processed plays a big role in the quality and taste.

Growing the Beans

At Brooklyn Bean, we use only 100% Arabica Coffee beans. Arabica plants only grow in tropical regions in regions, mostly in the mountains of Latin America. Coffee grown at higher elevations are most often higher quality. Higher quality beans give more complex and unique flavor notes.

Coffee Plants

Coffee plants are evergreen shrubs that can grow up to 20 feet tall. The coffee beans are actually inside of a coffee cherry surrounded by a sweet pulp called musalge. The cherries turn from light green to a dark shiny red when they are ready to be harvested and since they cannot ripen off the plant special attention needs to be paid to the color.

The Harvest

Picking the coffee cherries at their peak ripeness produces better tasting beans. Being on hand for the harvest is a great experience and gave us an appreciation for the hard work and passion that goes into growing the beans.

Processing The Beans

The beans need to be extracted from the coffee cherries as soon as possible and then dried. This is called “processing”. High quality farms don’t even wait a day from when the cherries are picked to extract the beans as starts to effect the flavor. Most coffee farmers don’t do their own processing and need to transport the cherries to a processor. The carts and vehicles that the beans are transported in come in all shapes, sizes and conditions. We came across a farmer with a beautifully and intricately designed cart pulled by oxen.

Fair Trade

Before the processing begins the coffee cherries are weighed. The reputable processors follow an excepted standard bucket size and the farmers are paid that day by the bucket.

Removing The Bean

Before the processing begins the coffee cherries are weighed. The reputable processors follow an excepted standard bucket size and the farmers are paid that day by the bucket.

Drying the Beans

For sun drying, the beans are laid out in concrete surfaces. During this process the beans need to be turned and raked often to ensure the drying is even on the bean. It can take up to 10 days for the beans to be completely dried and ready for the next stage.

Milling

During milling, the outer dried thin husk is removed then the beans are separated. At this point the beans are alost ready to be shipped as “green coffee beans” or beans that have not yet been roasted.

Rating

It is as this stage a small amount of beans are roasted and tested for quality as process known as cupping. All coffee beans go through a rating process from grade 1 to 5 that judges color, size and imperfections. The very highest rated beans are Specialty grade or Grade 1 and have almost no imperfections at all and must be above a specified size. The next level is Premium Grade, Grade 2 are also of extremely high quality and are only allowed 8 imperfections per 300 gr. In Grade 3 or Exchange many more defects are allowed. In Standard Grade, Grade 4 more than 50% of the beans can be undersized effecting taste and Grade 5 or Off Grade is bottom of the barrel coffee that you don’t want to drink. Brooklyn Bean uses a mixture of Select and Premium Grade coffees.

Export

After the coffee beans are rated and packaged they are ready to be shipped out to roasting companies. Beans arrive at Brooklyn Bean Roastery.