Coffee plays such an important role in many people’s lives that many choose a career in which they are constantly in touch with the world of coffee.
In one of the coffee-growing countries like Colombia, up to 720,000 jobs are created around coffee, maybe that’s a sign to dedicate yourself to the production or processing of coffee.
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The work of the coffee farmer is the most important job in the entire coffee production chain as he is responsible for the cultivation, care and proper growth of the coffee.
In this profession, where there are more responsibilities and functions to fulfill, it is precisely the coffee farmers who have to take care of the entire production process in the coffee plantations.
Work of a coffee farmer
The coffee farmers bear the greatest responsibility in the entire coffee production, because before the coffee gets to our house, it goes through many processes. Here are some of the responsibilities of coffee farmers so you do not confuse it with the coffee producers.
Maintenance and care of the coffee plantations
The coffee farmers are responsible for the care of the coffee plantations, ie they plant the coffee in the desired location so that it grows optimally. They have to take care of the trees, because they have to plant them at a height that favors the entire harvest, they are responsible for watering the coffee trees and they have to replace them if necessary or even treat them against pests.
Finally, when the coffee trees are properly grown, the coffee cherries need to be harvested, and guess what, the coffee farmers take care of that too.
Harvest in coffee plantations
It is harvested all year round, with a main harvest taking place twice a year. The harvest of the coffee fruits depends on the respective plantation. Depending on the cultivation and size of the plantation, harvesting is done by machine or by hand, with migrant workers also being used. For this purpose, accommodation for these pickers must also be provided on the site.
In organic coffee cultivation, the beans are always harvested by hand, as this leads to a better quality of the beans.
Digestion of the coffee
With the selected coffee cherries, the beans are separated from the rest of the cherry, removing the different layers of the cherry to obtain green coffee. Green coffee is the name for green beans before roasting.
After the pulping, the coffee farmers have to process the coffee further, and depending on the process used, the coffee has different properties and flavors.
Dry processing is the simplest type of coffee processing, as it does not require a great deal of machinery. 90% of Arabica coffee from the world’s major coffee producers (Brazil, India, Ecuador and Colombia) is processed in this way.
This type of coffee processing is not recommended when the humidity is too high, as the humidity in the environment can damage the crop.
Coffees processed in this way have an exotic taste, low acidity and intense fruit aromas.
The coffee farmers are responsible for the entire process and the coffee goes through the following stages during dry processing:
Sorting the coffee fruits
In the case of green coffee, the best specimens are selected, with overripe, damaged or wormy fruit being sorted out.
Dirt such as soil and dead leaves are also removed.
Drying the coffee
The selected beans are exposed to the sun and turned by hand to dry them evenly until they reach the optimum moisture content (12.5%).
The drying process can take up to four weeks on small plantations, while special machines are used on large plantations to speed up the drying process. This process is crucial to get the best result in the end, because if the coffee is too dry it can break due to a faulty bean, and if it’s wetter than necessary it’s prone to fungus.
The peeling is quite simple and straightforward: the dried fruit is taken to a mill where the outer layers of the fruit are removed.
When the outer layers are removed, they are sorted and stored.
The coffee buyer is basically the one who buys the coffee after the coffee grower’s job, i.e. the coffee buyer buys the unroasted green coffee.
There are coffee buyers who are in charge of buying coffee from large companies and travel around the producing countries (Colombia, Brazil or Mexico) and visit coffee farms to find the product wanted by the company they work for.
There is another type of buyer who does not work for a single company, but acts as an intermediary between the coffee farmers and the companies and establishes communication between the actors.
A permanent buying station has been developed in the Colombian Pacific region, where the coffee farmers come to the buyer’s store and receive a value depending on the quality of the coffee.
Work and requirements of a coffee buyer
Knowledge of foreign languages
If a coffee buyer works internationally, he should have the corresponding good foreign language skills.
Know market trends
A buyer should always be aware of market trends.
Negotiate with producers
Once you have found a product, you have to negotiate with the coffee farmers.
Test coffee bean quality
When the farmer arrives with his coffee sacks, he has to take a sample from each sack.
Filter and weigh
The best quality fruits are filtered and weighed.
A value is assigned based on the quality of the product.
Finally, an invoice will be issued for the total value.
Buyers need to maintain a close relationship with coffee producers, exporters and importers.
The roaster receives the raw material obtained from a coffee farmer from a customer and has to roast this coffee.
The work of a coffee roaster seems to be very simple, but it is quite complicated and important because when roasting coffee, everything can affect and change the taste of the coffee.
The roaster must have an extensive knowledge of coffee, both its varieties, growing and harvesting methods, and the end products, as the process they perform determines the final taste of the coffee.
In order to fulfill his tasks, he needs a coffee roasting machine.
Working of a coffee roaster
Broadly speaking, the job of a coffee roaster is to roast the coffee.
Roasting of the beans
Before the coffee is roasted, the machine must be preheated because if it is not preheated before use, the coffee will be roasted perfectly in some places and not in others.
After determining the roasting process, the roaster needs to keep an eye on the beans.
When the beans are roasted and ready, the roaster can sell their own product. He can grind it and pack it for sale.
In many places, the barista is defined as the person responsible for service in coffee shops, but a barista is much more than that.
A barista is a specialist in the preparation and knowledge of coffee, because a barista must also have a broad knowledge of the different varieties, cultures and roast types. It must have the ability to bring out the maximum potential of each type of coffee.
Working of a barista
A barista’s duties depend on how coffee-centric the workplace is, because with the advent of specialty coffee (coffee of exceptional quality), there are many places where baristas are dedicated solely to preparing coffee in its various forms.
Knowledge of coffee cultivation
Baristas need to know the entire coffee production process in order to be able to prepare a coffee optimally.
Excellent customer service
Something very important in the barista’s responsibility is attention to the customer and the customer’s wishes.
They are able to recommend an excellent coffee based on their experience, where high quality is paramount.
Responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the coffee machines
They ensure that they operate the machines for which they are responsible correctly, e.g. B. Industrial coffee machines and espresso machines, knowing the extraction processes for each type of coffee.
Combinations with coffee
They should know and recommend the combination of coffee with other foods.
Cleanliness at work
You must respect hygiene during the preparation of the products and afterwards.
The job of a coffee taster is much broader than just drinking and tasting coffees from all over the world.
In coffee production companies, they are responsible for quality control to ensure that all products taste the same. In addition, the Cuppers are constantly involved in the development of new products because they have to ensure the balance of the mixtures.
Works of a coffee taster
Their main task is to cup coffee. Accordingly, you should have good sensory skills for this job.
First, the tasters must assess the coffee’s crema (if any), its color and consistency.
Smelling the coffee
After looking at the coffee, they should smell it to recognize its nuances. The most experienced tasters can detect aromas of wood, earth or spices.
Tasting the coffee
The coffee should be tasted with a tasting spoon so that the coffee reaches the taste buds and the taste can be perceived. It should be tried several times this way while it cools, as the flavors may change.
Experts recommend evaluating these aspects when tasting the coffee.
- Palate sensation, where a sticky feeling is positive, but negative if it leaves a dry mouthfeel.
- Coffee deficiencies, where smoky or stale coffee aromas stand out negatively.
Types of coffee tasting
Although coffee cupping is not that well known, there are two types of coffee cupping, namely:
Brazilian coffee tasting
This type of tasting is carried out when the coffee is made and is the most used. Roasted and freshly ground coffee is poured with boiling water, left to brew for three minutes and tasted in small sips until it cools completely.
The aim of this tasting is to find out all the nuances of the coffee, good or bad, where the production can be improved.
Espresso coffee tasting
This tasting comes with a cup of freshly brewed espresso. Here we examine the nuances of the coffee, from the cream, and its texture. This tasting also considers variants in taste related to the coffee machine in which the drink was made, because the most experienced palates can find rancid flavors caused by lack of cleaning of the coffee machine.
Recognition from coffee tasters
There is a program called Q-Grader where the top coffee tasters get this recognition from the CGI (Coffee Quality Institute). The tasters who achieve this award have to train their sense of smell and palate to perfection by studying the acids of the coffee varieties, the roast types and the entire coffee production process.
The Q-Grader tasters rated the coffees from 0 to 100, with 80 or more being considered specialty coffee.
The coffee industry helps people with disabilities!
A very important topic that is usually not talked about is that part of the population that is disabled in some way. There are many types of disabilities and in many cases, this does not necessarily affect people’s work, but when they have a disability they often face discrimination because of their work.
It is estimated that between 50% and 70% of employable people with disabilities are unemployed in developed countries and as much as 80% to 90% in developing countries.
To counteract discrimination, Glitter Cat Barista has developed programs designed to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities or people who are directly excluded.
Having experienced first-hand discrimination because of their disability, the creators of Glitter Cat Barista are developing programs to give other people opportunities for jobs and a normal life.
The coffee industry is perhaps the most important industry in terms of human value and this initiative has been observed by others. These began to adapt the workplaces to make them accessible to everyone, be they customers or employees.
It is expected that this type of initiative will be very well received in the coming years and in different countries.
Tips for getting started in the coffee industry
- When you feel like you’ve mastered the basics of coffee tasting, attend tastings to sharpen your senses.
- Ask your favorite baristas questions, ask them for recommendations.
- Find friends who share this passion.
- If you want to work in the coffee industry, talk to people who work in the position you are applying for to learn the ins and outs.
- Benefit from the knowledge of the coffee experts.
The coffee industry is one of the most important in the world and we want to highlight the work of everyone who helps ensure that we have excellent quality coffee at home every day.
Inclusion is very important everywhere and the coffee sector is not indifferent to it. Therefore, he wants to develop various measures so that everyone can enjoy an inclusive industry, which is why there are courses and expert programs designed to introduce beginners to this world.
Coffee offers many careers and employment opportunities, from working in rural areas growing coffee to being a coffee taster – coffee is a wonderful crop that deserves recognition.