Looking at a mug of freshly brewed coffee that wakes us up in the mornings, it is difficult to imagine its long trajectory from being little beans plucked at a plantation. Coffee cultivated across the world may be traced back centuries to old coffee woods on the Ethiopian plateau. Legend has it that the goat herder Kaldi recognized the possibilities of these treasured beans and the rest is history. Kaldi discovered coffee after seeing that after consuming fruit from a particular tree, his goats became more and more energized, and refused to sleep at night. Kaldi reported his discoveries to the local monastery’s abbot, who concocted a drink from the berries and discovered that it kept him attentive throughout the long hours of nightly prayer. The abbot informed some other monks at the monastery about his findings, and word of the invigorating berries spread. The news soon spread to the Arabian Peninsula, where it began its long journey across the globe.
That cup of coffee that you enjoy every day goes through a long process to reach your home. Here’s a rundown on how your favorite drink is made! LuxeBook spoke to Aditi Dugar – Chief Advisor, Retail & Lifestyle (ARAKU Coffee), and Rajeev Dharavath, Founder of Tribe Kulture, to learn more about how our coffee is produced and our growing coffee culture.
In shaded nurseries, coffee seeds are often sown in huge beds. They are kept out of direct sunlight until they become strong enough to be planted permanently. Planting is frequently done during the wet season to keep the soil moist as the roots establish themselves. According to Aditi Dugar, a coffee bean is only as good as the company it keeps. Good coffee comes from good agriculture, and vice versa. This is done with very strict scientific and agricultural support from experts who have helped reintroduce erstwhile native species into the region to restore Araku to its glory days of eco-biodiversity.
It will take 3 to 4 years for freshly planted coffee trees to yield fruit, depending on the type. When the coffee cherry is mature and ready to be harvested, it turns a beautiful, deep crimson. Every year, there is usually one large harvest. There is a primary and secondary crop in nations such as Colombia, where there are two flowerings every year. Most places select the crop by hand, which is a laborious and arduous procedure; but, in areas like Brazil, where the topography is largely flat and the coffee plantations are vast, the process has been automated. All coffee is harvested in one of two methods, whether by hand or machine:
All cherries are removed off the branch at once, by either hand or by machine.
Only ripe cherries are plucked, and each one is picked by hand. Pickers cycle among the trees between eight and ten days, selecting only the cherries that are fully ripe.
Dugar and Dharavath say only the reddest of the cherries are picked. “Only the reddest of red cherries are carefully handpicked by our farmers. Not only do our berries have a delicate fruity and floral aroma, they hit a sweet 22 on the BRIX meter (which measures sugar content) — far from 18, which is the norm”, says Aditi. At Tribe Kulture, farmers are trained to pluck the right shade of red. This is a very important step when processing coffee as the right shade of red matters.
To avoid fruit spoiling, processing must begin as soon as possible after the coffee is gathered. Coffee is prepared in one of two methods, based on the location and available resources:
The Dry Way is an ancient method of preparing coffee that is still utilized in many places with limited water supplies. The cherries are simply laid out on large surfaces to dry in the sun after being plucked. To keep the cherries from deteriorating, they are raked and rotated during the day, then blanketed at night or during the wet season to keep them dry. Depending on the weather, this procedure may take several weeks for each batch of coffee until the water content of the cherries is reduced to 11%.
After harvesting, the wet method eliminates the pulp from the coffee cherry, leaving just the parchment skin on the bean. To remove both the skin and flesh from the bean, the newly picked cherries are first run through a pulping machine. The beans are then segregated based on weight as they move through water channels. Lighter beans rise to the surface, whereas heavier mature beans sink to the bottom. They are separated by size as they move through a succession of revolving drums. The beans are separated and then transferred to big, water-filled fermenting tanks. Depending on the state of the beans, the environment, and the altitude, they will stay in these tanks for 12 to 48 hours to remove the slippery coating of mucilage that remains connected to the parchment. This layer will disintegrate when resting in the containers due to naturally occurring enzymes. When the fermenting process is complete, the beans will feel rough to the touch. The beans are cleaned and readied for drying after passing through additional water channels.
The very next step is to roast the coffee so that they become the delightful bitter fragrant brown coffee beans that we adore. Roasting is a sophisticated procedure in which the beans must be cooked at the precise temperature for the appropriate period of time – any longer and they will burn. There are devices that can achieve this, but the most skilled coffee roasters will utilize their perception of smell and extensive expertise to determine when the beans are ready. The beans are then ground, either fine or coarse, so that they may be used to produce coffee. Finally, the hot and tasty beverage is in your cup, ready for you to enjoy as you begin your day!
Sustainability in coffee
Last year India consumed 1.21 million 60-kg bags of coffee. This quick consumption has a significant environmental impact, involving far more than the garbage created by ubiquitous ‘to-go’ cups. Let’s take a deeper look at the necessity of developing sustainability awareness in the coffee industry and how organizations may re-invent their supply chain operations for a more sustainable future.
Forests cover over one-third of the world’s land area, yet we lose millions of hectares per year. The majority of deforestation occurs in Africa and South America, the primary coffee-growing regions. Coffee plants are cultivated in two ways: shade-grown, which is more ecologically friendly and reputed to taste better, and sun-grown. The sun-grown approach depletes the soil’s nutrients. After a short period of time, as corporations seek ways to cut growth expenses in the face of greater demand for low-cost coffee, it becomes more commercially viable to quit the plantation and remove fresh tracts of forest – an environmentally disastrous model. Sun-grown coffee also needs an enormous quantity of water during the growth season. Since water scarcity is currently a major problem and is expected to worsen in the next decades as a result of climate change, it is evident that a more sustainable strategy should be explored. Sustainability cannot be an afterthought; it must be integrated across all supply chain activities. A sustainable supply chain encompasses sustainable production, harvesting, green distribution, and fair bean procurement. It extends across the production and distribution processes, and it includes the options for packing completed items in recyclable and bio-degradable containers. For Dugar, sustainability has always been top of mind. At Araku Valley, their approach to regenerative agriculture improves the overall soil health. They are guided by one of the world’s leading agronomists, David Hogg who ensures that their processes are good for the earth, and for the farmers. Globally, coffee production is one of the largest causes of water pollution and waste. While there’s a whole focus on it being completely regenerative, chemical-free, synthetic-free and thereby making every effort towards not just profits and sustainability of the planet, but also the highest amount of safety, purity, and nutrition for the consumer.
A new age
The Indian specialty coffee industry is growing at a rapid rate. Consumers are more sophisticated in their choices and are beginning to appreciate the finer nuances of coffee and the importance of professional cupping scores, traceability, and taste profiles. According to Dharavath, specialty coffee is getting more recognized as people are straying away from the mainstream. “Manual brewing methods are becoming an increasingly popular option for coffee enthusiasts. Apart from it being an immersive experience and a way to connect with coffee, it also allows for better quality control”, says Dugar.
We all love drinking our coffee in the morning to wake us up and that’s how it’s always been for years. But now the energizing beverage has become more than a morning drink. Coffee is being introduced to drinks and food. So if you love coffee and a good cocktail, here are a few recipes for you to try out!
Whisky- 60 ml
Espresso Coffee- 30 ml
Sea Salt Caramel- 30ml
Take a shaker and add the espresso, Sea Salt Caramel and whisky together. Give a dry shake
(without ice) and then add ice into the shaker and give a shake again. Take a martini glass and
double strain into the glass. Use coffee beans for garnishing
Tiramisu mixture 50 gm
Mascarpone Mixture-10 gm
Cocoa Powder- 4 gm
Lady Finger- 40 gm
Tiramisu Syrup- 45 gm
Eggs- 6 no
Sugar -180 gm
Amul Milk- 30 ml
Mascarpone Cheese- 500 gm
Refined flour – 180 gm
Espresso Coffee -30 ml
Bacardi Black Rum- 55 ml
Method: For Sponge:
-Separate 6 egg yolks and whites in 2 different bowls
-Weight 180g of sugar and divide it into half and add one half to egg yolk and other to white
and whisk one by one.
– Whisk egg white till stiff peaks.
– Combine egg white and yolk and fold 180g flour into it by cut fold method.
– Spread in a tray and bake it at 160℃ for 10 mins.
-Separate 4 egg yolk and white in two different bowls.
– Add 50 g each sugar to both egg yolk and egg white.
– On a double boiler, beat egg yolk and cool it down.
– Whisk egg white till stiff peaks.
– Combine egg white and egg yolk and mix 200g mascarpone cheese with it.
– In a mould add a sponge and layer it with cream.
– Repeat the process twice and set it in a fridge.
– Dust it with cocoa powder while serving.
-45 ml Bourbon Whisky
-15 ml Coffee liqueur
-30 ml Chocolate Syrup
-45 ml Cream
-10 ml Hazelnut Nectar
-1 Martini glass with a chocolate rim
-1 Cinnamon stick
-Add ice, Whiskey, Coffee Liqueur, Chocolate Syrup, Cream and Hazelnut Nectar in a cocktail shaker
-Shake the ingredients well
-Pour the contents in a chilled Martini Glass with a chocolate rim
-Garnish it with a Cinnamon stick and serve
-60ml blended Scotch whisky
-10ml in-house vanilla pod syrup
-5ml chocolate dunk sauce
-60ml Arabica cold brew
Method: Add all the ingredients into a shaker and shake well. Garnish the rim of the glass with chocolate dust and then pour in the shaken mixture.