Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Coffee Berry Info

Coffee BeanThere are typically two seeds per coffee berry packed with the flat end facing each other, but that is not always the case. A special case which is common is called peaberry which is a single seed. But, there can be more than two in a coffee berry also.

The outer skin of the coffee berry is generally tough and can withstand handling. The inner pulp of the coffee berry is generally mushy. In a few types of coffee plants, the pulp is more valuable than the bean itself. This is because the coffee berry pulp has a high sugar content and can be fermented making a coffee liquor or a tea made from the pulp. The coffee berry parchment shell is fairly tough. This is taken off in the last coffee bean processing stage. However, the coffee silverskin is so thin and attached so well it tends to stay with the coffee bean right up to roasting. When roasted, the silverskin can, and usually does, crack off the coffee bean. The silverskin cracks off because it does not expand like the inner coffee bean does when roasted. This posses a problem in two ways. First it is a thin messy chaff which is undesirable and must be removed from the batch of roasted coffee beans for cosmetic reasons. Second, it can easily catch fire.

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