The seeds produced by the coffee plant are the coffee beans. Though these are referred to as beans they are not really beans in the true botanical sense of the word. The coffee plant bears red or purple fruits which are also called cherries or berries of coffee and the stone that lies inside is the ‘bean’ which is the source of coffee. Two stones lying with their flat sides together usually constitute the coffee bean. It is from this bean that coffee is produced that can be used to produce a variety of coffee beverages like espresso, latte and cappuccino using the right coffee makers- espresso machines etc. It may be mentioned that a small percentage of any crop of coffee cherries contain a single bean in the cherries instead of the usual two. Such berries are called pea berries.
Coffee beans facts Some 0.8% to 2.5% caffeine is contained in the endosperm of the coffee seed or bean. This caffeine content gives them the characteristic flavor for which the plant is cultivated. Several species of the coffee plant are there and the seeds of each species produce coffees having slightly different tastes. Variation can be observed in the flavors of different genetic subspecies also and the coffee varietals- where the coffee plants are being cultivated.
Coffee beans are a major item of export of many countries. Coffee Arabica is the species that makes up the major portion (70-75%) of the world trade. The other important coffee species of coffee cultivated is the Coffee canephora. This is grown where the Coffee Arabica does not thrive.
Processing of coffee beans The coffee beans are processed before they are readied for use in preparing espresso, latte, cappuccino and other special coffee drinks using coffee makers- espresso machines and the like. The processing begins with the beans being removed from the coffee cherries. The fruit is then discarded or made use of as a fertilizer. The bean or seed of coffee is then ground and used in the preparation of beverages of various kinds using a coffee maker or espresso machine.
Coffee beans and espresso beans A difference between ordinary coffee beans and the espresso beans is there. The espresso beans tend to be a concoction of beans. These are almost always a relatively dark roast like a Vienna or light French roast. This is seemingly a trade secret. So, even though the formula of the blend can be discovered the exact amounts or proportions in which the constituents are to be blended cannot be easily found out.
Flavoring of coffee beans There is also the process of flavoring the coffee beans in an attempt to work upon their natural flavor to meet some purpose. Natural oils are usually used to achieve this. Half an ounce of oil is usually to be added to a pound of beans for the flavoring to be done.
The primary concern of all coffee lovers being the flavor of the drinks, special attention needs to be given to ensure that the best flavor is obtained from the coffee beans. This is of crucial importance in case of preparation of espresso, cappuccino, latte and all other special coffee beverages. The superior coffee makers and espresso machines can also deliver the best results i.e. brew the perfect drinks only if the best flavored ground coffee beans are used. Many of the world class coffee makers [http://www.finest-coffee-makers.com/index.html] and espresso machines of the day has been reported to be failing to deliver desirable brews owing to the use of coffee beans that were not up to the mark.
The real flavor of the coffee beans starts developing with the growth of the plant and is influenced by the climate of the place where it is grown. Of course, the particular species of the coffee plant also matters in the developing of the flavor. The processing of the bean i.e. the processes that the coffee beans are made to undergo through after they are extracted from the coffee fruits also affects their taste and flavor.
Roasting helping bring out best flavors Roasting of the beans is an important process that helps bring out the real vibrant flavor of the beans. The carbohydrate and fat content of the coffee beans get transformed to aromatic oils by the heat of the process. This gives rise to the great coffee flavor which is cherished by the people from all corners of the world.
Different types of roasting of the coffee beans also have different effects on the coffee produced i.e. varying of the composition. So, while light roast produces light flavored coffee the medium roast leads to preparation of a sweeter and fuller-bodied coffee. Again, dark roast that requires a long roasting time produces a spicy and sweet deep tasting coffee. The characteristic flavors of coffee that are a result of particular roasting are produced in the brews prepared by the coffee makers [http://www.finest-coffee-makers.com/index.html] and espresso machines of the day too.
Selecting best coffee beans and ensuring their freshness It is the best coffee beans that are to be selected. This is determined from the region where they are procured from. The coffee planted in a particular region and influenced by its climate produces a distinctive flavor in its cherries and beans (seeds). The Arabica coffee is considered as the very best. Gourmet coffee drinks are made using this coffee. Other varieties like the Robusta beans have been known to have more caffeine content and lesser flavor. These are also prepared cheaper.
Keeping the coffee beans fresh is also very important. These are to be kept sealed in an air tight container. To take care of freshness in the coffee beverages that you make using your coffee maker or espresso machine you need to purchase whole beans of coffee from specialty shops. These beans are to be used within a week of purchase. Only then can you get to enjoy perfectly flavored coffee drink. It is always preferable to gave a good coffee grinder at home and prepare freshly ground coffee for your brewing purpose. Pre ground coffee often lacks much of the flavor and aroma that are the hallmark of premium coffee. On the other hand freshly ground coffee provides more nutritional benefit and ensures the best flavor.