Thursday, 23 April 2015 14:00

Anatomy of a Coffee Bean

Perhaps the single most important factor in determining coffee quality is the care taken during post-harvest processing. A single mistake can have serious implications, at times, capable of spoiling en entire batch of coffee. But before we discuss the various processing methods, lets take a look at the coffee bean itself.

Anatomy of a Coffee Bean

Anatomy of a coffee bean

The heart of the bean lies deep within three layers of covering. On the outer most side, we have what is called the 'mesocarp' or otherwise known as the pulp of the cherry. Depending on the plant's variety, it can be vary in color from a deep red or yellow depending on ripeness.

Below this layer, we have the 'endocarp' or parchment, which mainly consists of a slimy/jelly-like layer covering the bean. This layer is rich in sugars that serves as an essential energy source during the fermentation process. Immediately below this layer, is what's called the 'silverskin' that cosists of a thin paper-like tissue surrounding the bean. For most of us, this is what we see come off the bean during roasting and is otherwise known as 'chaff'.

Source: Illy, A. Espresso Coffee
Read 22838 times Last modified on Saturday, 19 March 2016 11:23