The Coffee Story: The Journey from Bean to Cup

The United States is enjoying its love affair with coffee and basking in a caffeinated glow, or buzz, so to speak! No longer are we willing to settle for a mediocre cup that was ground and brewed a while ago and has been sitting idle in a pot. It’s now all about the beauty of the brown little bean and the alchemy that happens on its way to your cup and taste buds. We may have become bean snobs in our coffee culture evolution, but the bean’s journey starts way before it hits your cup.

A 10-Step Journey

The National Coffee Association outlines 10-steps from seed to cup.

  1. Planting
  2. Harvesting the cherries
  3. Processing the cherries
  4. Drying the beans
  5. Milling
  6. Exporting
  7. Cupping
  8. Roasting
  9. Grinding
  10. Brewing

Coffee is planted in tropical and sub-tropical climates known as the bean belt. After about nine months, the plant bears fruit (called cherries) that is ready to be harvested. The coffee cherries are processed and undergo milling and polishing to separate the husk from the bean. Green coffee is bagged and loaded into bags and then placed into containers and loaded on ships to make their journey all over the world.

Harvesting and processing are labor-intensive steps, most of which is done by hand. It is this labor that has resulted in the development of policies and procedures that guarantee “fair and ethical” practices and pricing to protect and value the growers.

Upon arrival, an inspector, or cupper, evaluates the beans by sight, smell and taste. Then they are roasted, during which time they are transformed from green coffee into the prized brown bean we have come to think of as sacred.

If you are a coffee aficionado, this is pretty much where you enter the story – taking the brown bean through a blending of alchemy, magic and technology to produce your idea of a perfect cup of coffee. The beans now undergo your custom ritual, of probably a good 10 to 15 minutes depending on the method you implement, to turn the bean into a rich brown beverage that can make your day.

Although bean-to-cup coffee is the ultimate coffee experience, brewed for peak freshness just after it has been roasted, there are some good single-serve coffee pod and capsule options too.

What’s the difference between Bean to Cup, coffee pod, and K-Cups?

Let’s talk packaging. Bean to Cup coffee machines grind, then brew, fresh whole bean coffee for every cup. Coffee sold in capsules, such as K-Cups, are typically sealed after roasting, locking out moisture while locking in oxygen for freshness. K-Cups are not limited to coffee; they can contain tea, hot chocolate, cider, and other beverage options. Coffee pods, on the other hand, are typically a round pad that contains coffee wrapped in biodegradable filter paper. The coffee pods are sold wrapped in foil or loose in a resealable bag – depending on the brand you buy.

Here are 5 key benefits to Bean to Cup, coffee pods, and K-Cups:

Bean to Cup Benefits:

  • Amazing coffee flavor every time – the closest you will find to your favorite local barista
  • Bean to Cup coffee machines grind, then brew, fresh whole bean coffee for every cup
  • No wasteful filters, leaving only 100% compostable grounds
  • Bean to Cup machines offer lots of different coffee and drink options. These include coffees, cappuccino, latte, espresso, hot chocolate, mocha, Americanos, and flavorings at the touch of a button
  • Paperless brewing system means less time spent maintaining the brewer and equates to lower cost per cup

K-Cups Benefits:

  • K-Cups are convenient in a self-contained capsule
  • K-Cups are in-market and sold at local grocery stores
  • Competitive brands now offer lower priced K-Cups
  • They offer a large variety of coffees, roasting options, and other beverages
  • The company aims to have all K-Cups recyclable by 2020

Coffee pod Benefits:

  • By design, there is more surface area for water to contact the pod, yielding a higher coffee extraction
  • The coffee filter allows for more coffee aroma during the brewing process
  • Price range is affordable
  • Coffee pods can easily be purchased online
  • Ecological – less product waste

Whether you like Bean to Cup, coffee pods, or K-Cup coffee there are options for every lifestyle and coffee lover!

Contact BostonbeaN Coffee Company  to learn about our bean-to-cup coffee options, including the DeJong Duke Virtu system, Starbuck’s Serenade, Flavia/Mars and the CX Touch Brew. We have just the right way to brew a high-end, café quality cup of coffee that will make your employees happy at break time.

BostonbeaN Coffee Company in Woburn, Massachusetts, sources the best products to stock your company break room with quality coffee, tea drinks and snack products. Keep your employees happy, alert and motivated by providing great coffee, tea, soft drinks and the perfect snack foods. We listen to your unique breakroom needs. Give us a call today at 1-800-Hit-Brew (800-448-2739) to learn more about our many product and machine options.