Green coffee is referred to unroasted coffee beans which are picked and processed when still wet and then, dried and finally milled. These coffee beans are left unroasted only to be roasted by the consumers. While there are several ways of roasting these beans, the most preferred method is the one using the specialty equipment made for making the task simpler and easier.
Processing Green Coffee Berries and Seeds
Picking and Wet/Dry Processing
The berries and seeds of coffee plant are selectively handpicked once they are on the prime of ripeness. Often, the berries are strip picked and harvested simultaneously by machine or manually in a non-selective manner, irrespective of their stage of maturity. Then, these are sent for processing, to be performed, either by using the dry process or the wet process. While the former method is less labor intensive and simpler as the berries are strip picked, the latter involves fermentation to yield a mild version of the coffee.
Sorting and Fermentation
After being processed, the berries are sorted by color and ripeness and then, their flesh is removed mechanically while the coffee seeds, better known as beans, are subjected to fermentation to discard their slimy coating.
The fermented beans of green coffee are then vigorously washed with fresh water to remove any residues and then, dried.
Considered the best step in coffee processing, yet the least used, the pulped and fermented coffee beans are thinly spread out on raised beds to air dry them, after which, they are hand mixed. Most coffees in Africa are dried using this traditional manner. Other times, the coffee beans are simply set out to sun dry on a concrete patio. Many companies on the other hand, prefer pumping hot air from cylinders to dry the beans, but generally, this method is practiced on occasions of high humidity.
The last step involves sorting and labeling the green coffee.
Green Coffee Bean in History
Green coffee has featured as an important food source since thousands of years and has mostly been employed in making wines and traditional coffee drinks.
Green Coffee Recipe: Method of Preparation
Roasting the green beans is the foremost step in coffee preparation as it brings down the acidity in the beans which could otherwise impart a bitter flavor to the resulting infusion. The taste of the beverage is also determined by the roasting process followed and the quality of the green coffee used. While roasting the beans at a high heat is a must, constant stirring of the beans must also be done to prevent scorching that has the potential to render the resultant concoction undrinkable. The smoke generated while roasting should be properly vented out.
Home cooks generally prefer fluid air bed method for roasting the green beans, performed by an automated machine. For situations where the equipment is not available, air popcorn popper, stove top popcorn popper or even a simple oven can be used for roasting these coffee beans. Roasting coffee beans roughly takes 10 minutes and throughout the process, a pleasant aroma is exuded by the beans. Conventional ovens may take 20 minutes for roasting the beans.
Common Green Coffee Benefits
Extracts of green coffee are being commonly used in creating weight loss products. The beans are also medicinally valued for their high content of antioxidants. Organic green coffee extracts are used in health supplements for stimulating cell replenishment, blood sugar control and for reducing aging signs on skin. The extracts are easily available in the form of powder, tablets and capsules.
Side Effects of Green Coffee Beans
The side effects caused by excessive drinking of green coffee is generally same as that caused by any caffeinated beverage such as dizziness, fluctuations in blood glucose levels, rapid heart rate and jitters.
Storing Green Coffee Bean
· Native green beans remain the freshest and so, it is best to roast them only as much as is expected to be used up within a day or two.
· The unroasted coffee can stay fresh for a longer time, ranging up to several months but the roasted version doesn’t have as long a shelf life.
· Unroasted beans store up to a year or more in vacuum containers or sealed packages.
· Alternatively, the green beans can be kept in cotton sacks for several months to a year, placed inside a dark cupboard.
Green Coffee Bean: Trivia
· Green coffees are known to remain fresher for a longer period of time, thus, consumers with an affinity towards freshest coffees mostly prefer the green version.
· Another reason that justifies the popularity of green unroasted coffee is the flavor profile, which has been found to be varying depending on the time gap between processing and roasting of the beans. Many coffee connoisseurs agree that after the beans have been cured for a year and they begin losing their oils, that is when, their flavor starts getting stronger.
· Additional taste is contributed by the green variety of coffee beans as the natural sugar present in these beans caramelize while being roasted which adds richer layers of flavor to the coffee.
· In the year 2009, Brazil became the world’s leading producer of green unroasted coffee, with the nations like Indonesia, Vietnam and Colombia following close behind.
· The term “Green Coffee” is also used for referring to coffee beans cultivated and harvested under eco-friendly conditions, although such usage is less common.