There are two main varieties, Arabica and Robusta. Both varieties come from different species of the Coffea coffee tree. Robusta has almost double the caffeine of Arabica and is largely considered a lower-grade coffee. It is often used for instant and commercial bargain coffee brands.
Arabica beans are the highest grade of coffee grown. High-grown mountain coffee, Arabica has an excellent flavour profile and is carefully cultivated. When roasted properly, Arabica beans produce a smooth, full-bodied cup. Experts consider the use of Arabica as the Gold Cup standard.
Traditionally all coffee were picked by hand, ensuring the proper development of the fruit. Big Mountain Coffee Roasters uses high-grown Arabica varieties exclusively. “Strip-picking” is the mechanical harvesting method used by commercial and commodity coffee producers. Coffee fruit is removed from the tree regardless of its maturation stage.
After picking the coffee cherries, the outer skin is removed by one of two methods. Wet processing is where cherries are immersed in water to loosen and remove the skin and pulp in what is called “machine assisted processing”. The water and pulp are then used to fertilise soil. The other method is dry processing, where the entire coffee cherry is first cleaned, then placed on tables or patios to dry in the sun. Each method produces its own distinctive flavour.
Grading and Cupping
Green coffee is often graded at the source. “Cuppers” are coffee experts that determine the grade of the coffee. For this technical process, green beans are roasted using an extremely light roast profile. This light roasting highlights both the faults and merits of that specific harvest. The coffee is then graded based on these outcomes.
The Grade Types Are:
- Specialty Grade
- Premium Grade
- Exchanged Grade
- Standard Grade
- Off Grade
Small -Batch Profile Roasting
Roasting is the process of applying heat throughout a specific amount of time, called a temperature curve, which brings the coffee to a precise end temperature; this is called “profile roasting”. This allows for the proper development of the coffee bean, which creates the smooth, full-bodied, and distinct flavours of all our roasted coffees. This unique individuality is always present in Big Mountain Coffees’ single-origin, blended coffees, and espressos.