Coffee beans arranged into shape of a heart

Think about the last time you enjoyed your favorite cup of coffee. Whether you were hunkered down with us at Witch’s Brew Cafe or on your way to work, did you ever consider the process required to create that mouthwatering sensation? Planting, roasting, brewing — every step is just as crucial as the others, and the result is sure to leave you craving more.

Here at our Locust Grove coffee shop, we strive to make you feel at home every time you step through our doors. We do so by delivering an unparalleled level of customer service and care and freshly brewed coffees and teas to match. Our local partnerships with Orange County Roasters and Kickshaws Bakery allow us to serve the freshest goods in the area.

In today’s blog, we’ll dive into the coffee creation process, courtesy of the National Coffee Association of the U.S., so you can appreciate our delectable creations even more. Stop by our store today to see the difference that a community-oriented cafe can make.

Planting, Harvesting, and Processing

Creating coffee usually takes between three and four years. To begin, coffee seeds are planted in large nursery beds, watered frequently, and protected from harsh sunlight until the seedlings are strong enough to be transferred into the ground. After planting the seeds in a wet season, the coffee trees mature and eventually produce a fruit called the coffee cherry.

Once the fruit turns a deep, bright red, it’s ready to be harvested. The full field of cherries can be harvested by machine or they can be selectively harvested by hand to pick those that are the ripest. To prevent the chance of spoilage, processing begins in one of two methods:

  • Dry — Coffee cherries are sun-dried, raked, and turned until they lose enough moisture to move to the next step of production. Depending on climate and weather conditions, this natural method can take several weeks.
  • Wet — A more mechanized form of processing, the wet method removes the coffee seeds from the fruit before they are dried. After being separated from the fruit, the beans are sorted by weight and transported to fermentation tanks to further remove any layers surrounding the bean. In this process, the bean then goes through the drying process using either a sun-dried or machine-dried approach.

Milling and Exporting

After the beans are dried, they are processed in another manner using hulling and polishing. The goal of coffee hulling is to remove any layer of impediment still remaining on the coffee bean. If the beans were initially processed using the dry method, hulling removes the entire dried fruit surrounding the bean. Beans that were processed mechanically only have a thin parchment layer to remove.

Beans are then polished to remove any remaining imperfections before they are graded, sized, and prepared for export. Any beans deemed imperfect due to size, over-fermentation, color, or damage are removed by machine and hand to ensure that only the best beans are included in the export. Once the crop is finalized, the beans — now called green coffee — are shipped worldwide.

Roasting

This is where our friends at Orange County Roasters come into play. They’re the ones who receive the green coffee and turn it into the succulent, aromatic brown beans you know and love. The beans are roasted at a temperature of 550 degrees fahrenheit and continuously turned to avoid burning. When the internal temperature reaches 400 degrees, the first crack happens, during which the bean doubles in size, begins turning a light brown, and releases a fragrant oil called caffeol. 

This oil gives coffee beans their unmistakable aroma and taste. Depending on the desired level of roast — light, medium, or dark — the process is repeated to release more caffeol before the beans are doused in water to cool them instantly. Once the beans are roasted, we waste no time in bringing them to Witch’s Brew Cafe to ensure you receive the freshest delicacies possible.

Grinding and Brewing

Now it’s our turn to have some fun. After receiving the freshly roasted beans, we can finally begin the grinding and brewing process to deliver you an unbeatable cup of coffee. When grinding the beans at our coffee shop, we consider many factors to determine the correct coarseness. The beans for a cup of espresso are finely ground to allow for a bold release of its flavors. Beans for drip coffee, meanwhile, are ground at a medium coarseness.

We then freshly brew and create some of the most scintillating creations you can imagine, including specialties like our Butter Pecan Macchiato and Lavender Spiced Latte. What are you waiting for? Sit down for a spell at Witch’s Brew Cafe to enjoy the final creation today!