Coffee is a beverage known for its distinctive aroma and flavor, which makes it a daily and unparalleled experience for many people. Its origin dates back to the 11th century in Ethiopia, where it grows wild and from where it spread throughout the world.
Coffee has become a product of great importance for many countries. However, how much do we know about the natural origin of coffee? What characteristics make coffee be considered a natural product? How do climatic changes affect coffee?
What is a natural product?
Natural products are obtained directly from nature, without significant chemical or artificial processes. It can be of vegetable, animal, or mineral origin and does not contain synthetic additives or artificial preservatives.
Why is coffee considered a natural product?
Coffee is considered a natural product because it is produced through an organic process that involves harvesting, drying, and roasting the seeds of the coffee plant without using chemical products or artificial additives.
Most coffees are grown using natural and sustainable agricultural practices, without synthetic pesticides or other chemicals that harm the environment or human health.
Coffee is a healthier and more sustainable option than other processed beverages since it is low in calories (it has none) and does not produce as much waste.
The impact of climate change on coffee cultivation
Coffee is a delicate crop that requires specific climatic conditions to grow and produce. Any change in temperatures, rainfall, or drought patterns can negatively affect the quality and quantity of the crop.
Temperature changes can create more favorable conditions for the spread of coffee pests and diseases, such as coffee rust (Hemileia vastatrix), which can weaken and kill the plants.
Rainfall and drought patterns can also have a significant impact on coffee production. Prolonged drought can decrease coffee yields and affect bean quality, while too much rain can sicken or even kill plants through flooding.
Adaptation and sustainability measures can be adopted to mitigate the effects of climate change on coffee cultivation. These measures include:
- Selecting disease-resistant coffee varieties.
- Improving soil moisture management.
- Adopting sustainable agricultural practices.
It is essential to take adaptation and mitigation measures to counteract the effects of climate change on coffee cultivation. However, it is important to remember that these measures are palliative and do not solve the root of the problem.
Does roasting alter the naturalness of coffee?
The roasting process is essential for the quality of coffee since it significantly affects its flavor, aroma, and body. During roasting, heat transforms the flavor and appearance of raw coffee beans, creating a wide variety of flavor profiles and roasts.
Although roasting can affect the naturalness of coffee, the definition of “natural” can be subjective. Raw coffee beans are natural, but roasting transforms them into a more processed product.
However, roasting improves the quality of the coffee, as it can remove moisture and impurities that negatively affect the flavor. An experienced roaster is crucial to the success of this process, as they must select high-quality raw coffee beans and carefully control the roasting time and temperature to obtain the desired flavor profile.
In the case of blended coffees, creating a perfect blend is a precise and delicate task that requires the right balance between different characteristics, such as acidity, sweetness, bitterness, body, and aroma.
➡️ Coffee roasting is an essential process that can affect the perception of the naturalness of coffee but can also improve the quality of the product. The roaster’s experience and skill are key to obtaining a perfect and refined coffee blend and maintaining the quality and naturalness of the coffee.
Natural coffee processes vs. beverages with chemicals
Coffee is produced naturally through a process that includes several stages, from harvesting to roasting:
- Harvesting: Coffee beans are harvested by hand or machines at the right moment when they are ripe and ready to be processed.
- Washing: The beans are washed to eliminate the pulp and the external layer that covers them.
- Drying: The beans are spread out in the sun or mechanical dryers to eliminate excess humidity.
- Hulling: The beans are hulled to remove the silver coating covering them and expose the green bean.
- Grading: The beans are sorted by size and quality.
- Roasting: The beans are roasted to develop the characteristic flavor and aroma of the coffee. The roasting process can vary depending on the type of coffee and the preference of the roaster.
Compared with other beverages, such as soft drinks, the main difference lies in the ingredients used. Coffee is produced from natural coffee beans, while beverages can contain artificial chemical ingredients and additives to improve their flavor and appearance.
In addition, the coffee production process focuses on highlighting the bean’s natural characteristics, while in beverages, chemical processes are used to obtain the desired flavor.
Coffee is a more natural and healthy option for those seeking less processed beverages with simpler ingredients.
Coffee is natural because it is organically produced without chemicals or artificial additives. In addition, it is mostly grown using natural and sustainable agricultural practices.
Climate change may affect the quality and quantity of coffee cultivation, but adaptation and sustainability measures can be adopted to mitigate these effects.
Although the roasting process can transform raw coffee beans into a more processed product, this process improves the quality of the coffee. Coffee remains a healthier and more sustainable option than other processed beverages.