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A Journey from Plant to Cup: How Coffee is Grown and Processed

Coffee is a popular beverage enjoyed by millions of people around the world. But have you ever stopped to think about where it comes from and how it is grown?

Coffee is a tropical plant that grows best in areas with warm temperatures, plenty of rainfall, and rich soil. It is primarily grown in countries located along the equator, such as Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, and Vietnam.

Coffee plants grow best at elevations between 1,000 and 2,000 feet above sea level, and are often grown on small, family-owned farms. The plants can grow up to 30 feet tall, but are typically pruned to a height of about 10 feet to make harvesting the beans easier.

Coffee plants produce small white flowers that give way to green berries. As the berries mature, they turn a deep red colour and are ready to be harvested. The beans are found inside the berries, and are surrounded by a soft, fleshy layer called the "pulp."

There are two main methods for harvesting coffee beans: manual picking and mechanical harvesting. Manual picking involves workers hand-picking the ripe berries from the plants. Mechanical harvesting involves the use of machines to shake the branches and remove the berries, which are then sorted and separated from the rest of the plant material.

After the beans are harvested, they are processed to remove the pulp and any remaining fruit. The beans are then roasted at high temperatures to give them their characteristic dark colour and flavour. The roasting process also removes the outer layer of the bean, called the "chaff."

Coffee plants can produce beans for up to 50 years, but the quality of the beans tends to decline after about 20 years. The plants require a great deal of care and attention to produce high-quality beans, and the process from planting to harvesting to roasting is a long and labor-intensive one.

The next time you enjoy a cup of coffee, take a moment to appreciate the hard work and dedication that went into bringing it to your cup.

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