If you’re used to buying ground coffee beans or just buying flat whites from your favorite local cafe, you might not even know what coffee beans look like.
First, we have to talk about what a coffee plant looks like, because yes, coffee beans come from its very own Coffea plant.
The coffee tree has branches that are covered in dark green waxy leaves, which drive photosynthesis and turn the energy from the sun into chemical energy and allow the plant to grow the beans.
Remember that biology lesson?
But it’s not the beans that grow on the coffee plant, it is actually coffee cherries. First, the plant flowers and then develops coffee cherries. These cherries can be orange, yellow, pink, or grey, depending on the type of coffee varietal.
Then, inside every coffee cherry, there are two coffee seeds that are protected by multiple juicy layers, just like the stone fruit. After they are removed and dried, this is when you can roast the beans.
The beans can vary in size depending on the varietal.
And even though most coffee cherries contain two beans, some only contain a single seed, this is called a “peaberry”. Pretty cool, huh?