Coffee: Farm-level to Street-level
Know your coffee
Our coffee doesn’t just taste good. It does good.
Where coffee beans are grown is important.
True specialty coffee doesn’t come from large scale commercial farms, and Twin Beans sources our beans from small farms and co-ops to help ensure our beans are grown and harvested ethically.
Large scale corporate coffee farms grow the same type of bean in bulk, and they harvest them all at the same time despite how ripe each bean may be. By buying from small scale coffee bean growers, we can ensure that beans are harvested only once they’re ready!
Farmers will paint their nails or wear a bracelet the same color as a ripe cherry — some of the pickers we purchase from wear red bracelets that match the red cherries to make sure only ripe beans are harvested!
The next step after harvesting is processing.
This is when the fruit is removed from the outside of the bean, and depending on how this is done, beans can develop different flavor profiles. These are the most common types of processing.
This processing method involves allowing the coffee beans to dry with some of the mucilage (a natural sticky coating) still on them. Beans need to be raked or turned several times a day to ensure they dry thoroughly. Some dried mucilage is left on the beans when they are roasted, and that fruit imparts a fruity taste to the final product!
This is currently the most used processing method, and it is called a wet process because it involves soaking the beans in water and then removing all of the fruit. After they have been soaked and all of the fruit and pulp has been removed, the coffee beans need to dry for several days, being turned and raked often.
Traditionally the most common style of coffee processing, this process is the most high-risk in terms of yield. In this process, all of the fruit (or cherry) is left on the beans as they dry, and they are left to process for 3-6 weeks. Once completely dry, the cherry is removed in a process called hulling. If this process is not done correctly, the cherries may rot and ruin the batch.
In this final kind of processing, the coffee beans are partially de-pulped, leaving some of both the fruit and mucilage behind. The beans are not hulled of the mucilage afterward, and depending on how much is left on the beans when they dry, they can range in color from black to yellow.
Dry process coffee has bold and diverse fruity notes and a heavier-bodied flavor
Wet process coffee has a delicate-bodied flavor, and a “cleaner” flavor — meaning flavor directly from the beans and not from the coffee fruit
Natural process coffee has a full-bodied flavor, and a variety of citrusy or fruity notes
Honey process coffee has a creamier-bodied flavor, and is naturally slightly sweet with delicate fruity notes
At Twin Beans, we roast our own beans in house.
Our beans are shipped to us in big burlap bags after they’re done processing, and we receive them while they’re still green. We are a micro-roaster, meaning we roast in small batches between 3 to 6 pounds at a time. This is the final stage of coffee preparation before brewing.
The first step in roasting is removing the last of the moisture from the beans. The trick to this stage is to make sure not to over or under-cook the beans, but to cook them evenly. After this is done, we can start finessing the coffee to where we want it!
When the beans are cooking and start to brown, there is a chemical change that happens where they go from green to a golden brown color. In both food and coffee, this is known as the Maillard reaction, and it’s what gives browned foods their distinctive flavor. Depending on how much time this process is given, we can change many aspects of a batches flavor like emphasizing sweetness or acidity, and developing bright fruity or darker chocolatey notes.
In this final stage, we finish developing the flavors we encouraged and drew out in the Maillard stage. It’s up to the roaster when to end the process, and we usually smell the beans to check for the notes we want. Once they’re done, the beans are then cooled quickly to prevent them from cooking any more. Once this stage is complete, the beans are finally ready to be brewed!