Do you ever take a moment to think about the incredible journey that coffee beans have to make before they end up in your office coffee machine? From the time they are planted, nurtured and harvested, to the roasting, grinding and finally the brewing process - it's an incredible journey of transformation, and one that millions of UK workers are thankful for every single day.
In this blog post, we'll be taking you on a journey from plant to pour, so you can learn all about how coffee beans make it to your office coffee machine. So, what are you waiting for? Let's get started!
From seed to coffee bean
Coffee is a beloved morning ritual for many of us, and we can thank the coffee plant for this delight. The coffee bean is extracted from the fruit of the Coffea plant, and these plants are grown in tropical climates such as in countries like Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Vietnam.
In order to achieve the desired flavour, the beans must be harvested at the right time when they are ripe and juicy. Coffee plants take an average of four to five years to reach maturity, and the harvesting process typically takes around six months, starting when the fruits begin to ripen on the branch.
Once harvested, the beans are processed. In order to get the raw coffee beans to their final destination – your office mug – they need to go through a few more stages. The beans are first sorted and graded according to their size, colour, and other characteristics. After sorting, the beans are washed and dried to remove any debris and prevent spoilage.
Next, the beans are roasted to bring out their flavour, aroma, and colour. The roasting process can take anywhere from 8-15 minutes and can vary based on the desired results. Once this process has been completed and the beans have been left to cool, they are packaged in air-tight containers or vacuum sealed bags, where they’ll remain until they are dropped into a commercial coffee machine.
The packaged beans are boxed up and made ready for collection, before they start their journey across the world.
Journeying across the world
For many of us, getting our morning coffee fix is as simple as popping into the kitchen to make a fresh cup. But this wasn’t always the case. Coffee beans go on an incredible journey to get from their coffee plants to the workplace coffee machine, a journey that is only possible thanks to some great technology and incredible logistics.
Coffee beans are collected in their country of origin and are transported, usually by road, to a sea port or airport. The air-tight packaging we mentioned previously is critical for this journey, especially if being transported by plane, where air at 40,000 feet is thinner and much colder than at ground level. Keeping the beans fresh and tasty relies on this packaging.
Once loaded onto the transport of choice, the beans are on their way. This journey can take anything from several days to weeks, depending on their destination and how the beans have been shipped. Shipping the beans can often be cheaper than transporting by air, but takes considerably longer.
It’s estimated that over 120,000 tonnes of coffee is imported into the UK every year. This figure is rising too, as more and more of us choose to fuel our mornings with freshly-brewed coffee from our workplace coffee machines. The sheer amount of logistical planning to keep coffee moving around just the UK is mind boggling – now imagine how much is involved in shipping coffee to hundreds of countries simultaneously.
The final destination: your office mug
Once the beans have arrived in UK ports, they are transported to distribution centres ready to be sent out to coffee suppliers and distributors and then on to their ultimate destinations – workplaces up and down the country. The journey doesn’t end there though!
Machine operators like the brilliant team at Connect Vending, are responsible for getting the beans from the distribution centre to the office coffee machines they’re managing. They fill the coffee machines with freshly roasted coffee beans, guaranteeing that everyone can enjoy the perfect cup of office coffee.
It’s quite remarkable when you think about it; coffee beans travel thousands of miles before eventually reaching their final destination: your office mug. Once in your office coffee machine, the magic happens, and the flavour and aroma is released after many days and thousands of miles for you to enjoy.
Making the most of your coffee beans with an office coffee machine
Getting your favourite coffee beans to your office is the first step to making great coffee, but there’s so much more to get right before you can deliver amazing drinks for everyone in your workplace to enjoy.
Having the right commercial coffee machine, or hot drinks machine, in place and having it expertly calibrated across your full drinks range, will take you from an ok cup of coffee to an amazing cup of coffee. After all, you wouldn’t want to waste those beans after the journey they’ve been on!
To find out how we can help you buy a commercial coffee machine and optimise it for great drinks, speak to our expert sales team by calling 01865 341011 or by contacting us.
We’d love to hear from you!