The Little Coffee Bag Co. provides you with the true cafetière experience without the grind. Each one of our perfectly made coffee bags contains 10 grams of carefully roasted and ground Arabica coffee from across the equator. In this article we follow its journey ‘from Bean to Bag’.
Discovery of the Coffee Bean
Did you know that legends tell that a shepherd named Kaldi was the first person to discover coffee in 850AD?
The story goes that after watching his goats becoming lively and active after eating the fresh berries of an Arabica bush, Kaldi tried the berries himself and experienced the same effect! The news quickly spread; local monks began to infuse the fresh berries with cold water to enjoy the berries as an energising drink.
The process of making coffee that we are more familiar with today – roasting, crushing and infusing with hot water started much later, after 1000AD. The process is still being perfected!
The ‘Bean Belt’
Coffee has specific growing requirements, its plants only grow in tropical regions between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, a region known as the bean belt. Most people don’t know that hundreds of varieties of coffee grow within the bean belt. Only two are used commercially;
- Coffea Arabica – sweet, with a high acidity level giving complex flavours – used 100% in all of our products.
- Coffea Canephora – also known as Robusta. Small in size, with a high caffeine level giving an intense taste.
Different regions and soils also cause differences in coffee flavour. Many people refer to a coffee flavour wheel to pick out the notes.
The Little Coffee Bag Company selects beans from:
- El Salvador
- Papua New Guinea
Harvesting the Coffee Bean
Once ripened the coffee cherries are harvested, either by hand or by machine. The pulp around the seed is removed and the seeds dried and turned into green coffee. There are two processes for drying;
- The Dry Method – a traditional method of processing cherries. Fresh cherries are spread out on a large surface and left to dry in the sun for 15 to 20 days. The outer skin becomes brittle and is then removed.
- The Wet Method – a modern method using water to both move the coffee fruit through the process and to extract the beans. Cherries are put through a pulping machine that squeezes bean out of the skin.
Milling the Coffee Beans
Before being exported, hulling and polishing takes place. Hulling removes the leftover parts of the cherry. Polishing is an optional process where any silver skin that remains on the beans after hulling is done, arguably creating a superior bean. The green coffee beans are then packed into breathable fibre sacks to ensure they remain dry and clean during transit.
Roasting and Grinding the Coffee Beans
The flavour is locked within the green coffee beans – roasting transforms the green coffee bean into the aromatic brown beans. Beans are roasted at temperatures around 290 degrees Celsius, turning continuously to avoid burning.
The coffee is then ground to produce a specific taste for the blend, the size of the grind determines the flavours that will be released. Different coffee machines require different size coffee grinds.
Packing the Ground Coffee into a Coffee Bag
The coffee is now ready to be packed. Coffee bags require a unique packing technique. Ground coffee is dispensed in 10 gram portions, into a specially designed coffee bag made from bio-web. Each coffee bag is then individually wrapped to maintain freshness.
The Little Coffee Bag is designed to produce a cafetière style coffee made for one without the need for anything more than boiling water. Learn how to make the perfect cup.