From Bean to Brew: Here's Our Guide to the Coffee-Making Process

Two people picking coffee beans

Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, and I think it’s safe to say that loads of people can’t even start their day without a morning cuppa (guilty). But before you take that next sip, have you ever wondered just where your coffee comes from? How does it go from being a simple fruit on a plant to the delicious brew that we know and love today? 

Read more to find out how coffee is grown and processed and the best way to enjoy it.

1. Growing Coffee

Coffee is an evergreen shrub that grows all across the world. This plant can grow up to 30 feet tall, but it is usually kept pruned to a height of 6-8 feet for easier harvest. It starts to produce fruit, also known as cherries when it is around 3-4 years old. The ripe cherries turn red or yellow and then are usually harvested by hand. 

Although coffee is part of a large botanical family (that has over 100 species 🤯) the coffee we drink only comes from two plants: the Coffea arabica plant (arabica beans) and the Coffea canephora plant (robusta beans). Arabica beans are known for their delicate flavor and are grown at higher altitudes, while robusta beans have a stronger flavor and are grown at lower altitudes.

In Vietnam, coffee is mostly grown in the cool Central Highlands on small family-owned farms, with some larger plantations. While the country produces both coffee varieties, robusta beans account for about 97% of the country's coffee production.

Coffee beans on plant
Picture courtesy of ​​Pexels

2. Processing Coffee

Once the coffee cherries are harvested, the inner layer of the beans must be extracted and processed, and the processing methods differ from country to country. There are four main methods of processing coffee: 

  • Wet Processing 
  • Dry Processing
  • Pulped Natural Processing
  • Semi-Washed Processing

3. Roasting Coffee

After the coffee beans have been processed, they’re green in color. These raw beans are then roasted to bring out their flavor. 

During this stage, the beans are progressively heated to high temperatures (between 356 to 482 °F) for anywhere between 7 to 20 minutes, depending on the type of roast desired. The longer the roast, the deeper the colour and richer the flavor. It’s also at this stage that coffee beans are processed to become decaffeinated. 

Roasting is one of the most important steps because it affects the aroma and flavor of the coffee. Once complete, the beans are then packaged and ready to be consumed.

Coffee beans roasting
Picture courtesy of Pexels​​

4. Grinding and Brewing Coffee

After the coffee beans have been roasted and packaged, they are ground to the desired consistency and brewed to make coffee. The consistency varies between beans and where they’re grown, for instance, Vietnamese robusta beans are best with medium-grind. 

Now it’s time to get brewing. As you already know there are many ways to brew your coffee, and surprise surprise, our go-to brewing tool is the phin. Each brewing method results in a different flavor profile, but it’s all up to your personal preference. 

The Best Way to Drink Your Coffee

Whether it’s straight black, as a latte, or even a Vietnamese iced coffee, there are loads of ways you enjoy your cup of coffee. If you want to add a jolt of brightness to your morning cuppa or try something new, you should definitely check out our range of ready-to-drink cà phê sữa đá. These canned iced coffees come in five fiery flavors and are great as a midday treat or as a caffeine boost. Just snag some SANG and get sippin!