Coffee beans are the seeds of the coffee tree, and are found inside fruit called ‘cherries’ or ‘berries’. The berries are harvested, normally by hand, when they turn a reddish colour, which indicates ripeness. They’re then processed to separate the beans from the flesh. Green coffee beans, also called ‘raw’ or ‘unroasted’ beans, are coffee beans that have been through the process of picking, processing and drying, but haven’t yet been roasted.
Once they’re dry, the beans take on the slightly green colour which gives them their name. They have none of the rich, dark colour or smell normally associated with coffee beans, which they’ll acquire during the roasting process.
They’re then sold as green beans to the retailer or end consumer, who carries out the final stage of roasting, to get as fresh a brew as possible.
Although roasting the beans at the last minute can mean more work, it’s really the best way to get the maximum flavour from your coffee. The unroasted beans are also less porous, and keep fresher longer than roasted beans, so although you may buy your green coffee beans in bulk, it’s best to roast them in small qualities as you need to use them.
It’s possible to roast your own beans at home on the hob in a skillet or frying pan, but most regular users have a domestic or commercial roasting machine, which guarantees evenness and consistency. Green beans are becoming increasing popular, and with the advent of online sales are more widely available than ever before.
If you’d like to try roasting your own coffee beans, why not browse our range of green coffee beans? Roasting your own means that you can control the strength and intensity of the roast, so that your cup of coffee’s exactly the way you like it.