Ed's Coffees are a selection of coffees from different regions around the world, and (like wine) each coffee takes on a different personality and flavour due to the many different factors around where it is grown. These factors include the soil, the amount of rainfall the area gets, whether it spends most of its time in the shade or sunlight and even the altitude that it’s grown at. As all this has to be taken into account, each and every coffee will be ever so subtly different. Each different type of bean can then be light or dark roasted and this, again, will give a different flavour and colour to the bean. We have a huge range of coffee beans available so pop into us and try some.


 Coffee beans are harvested as Coffee Cherries. The Cherries are more often than not picked by hand using one of two methods, the "Strip Picking" or the "Selective Picking" method. Strip picking is done by stripping all the Coffee cherries from each branch at a time so there is one massive crop. Selective picking can only be done by hand, where the harvesters go around the trees every 8-10 days and only pick the Cherries at the peak of ripeness, this is usually only used for the higher classed coffee beans. The green cherries are usually very bitter in taste and have a sharp aroma, whereas the red ripe Cherries are much smoother and give off a much more pleasant fragrance. The Coffee Cherries then go through one of three processing stages, the "Wet Process", "Dry Process" or the "Semi-Dry Process". The wet process starts by sorting the picked cherries by water immersion, bad cherries float good cherries sink. A lot of pulp is then removed by pressing the cherries underwater, the remainder of the pulp is then washed away using large quantities of water, this can take up to 36 hours.

 

  Lastly the beans are washed to ensure all pulp is removed, this leaves just the "silver skin" and "parchment" covering the beans. The cleaned beans are then sun-dried in large patio like areas and raked every 6 hours to prevent mildewing. The dry process starts with sorting the Cherries using either the immersion technique or they can be sorted by hand. The ripe beans are then placed on large patio like areas and spread out to be sun dried, this takes around 4 weeks during which time the coffee cherries have to be raked or turned to ensure they dry evenly. This process leaves the outer skin and pulp on the cherry. The semi-dry process is only really done on small scale farms. This process takes the picked beans and removes all of the pulp, usually using locally made pulping machines. The beans are then partially sun dried and sometimes sold like this. The Coffee then goes through the "hulling" stage, in which the beans have the outer layers "crunched" off leaving just the green beans. The hulling stage is usually done by a huller machine.

 

  These green beans are then sorted, they are sorted at first by density and then by colour. To sort the beans by density they are placed on a tilted vibrating table, the heaviest (and therefore best) beans are left on one side of the table and the lightest on the other side. They are then sorted by colour, usually, by hand. This is often only done once but can be done up to 3 times for higher grade beans. Once this is done the final stage before the coffee is ready to be roasted is the grading stage. This stage is where the green beans are graded depending on many numerous factors such as the size of the bean, which farm/plantation has grown it, how many beans are broken or damaged, the altitude its grown at, how it was processed and also how good it tastes or cup quality. All these and more factors are taken into account when the beans are graded, but once this is done they are ready to be shipped and roasted. 


 There are 11 different recognised degrees of bean roasts starting with the original green bean and ending in the Spanish roast, these are also categorised into 1 of 5 categories; pre-roast, light roast, medium roast, medium-dark roast or dark roast. The different levels of roast in order are: Green Bean, Drying Phase, Cinnamon Roast, New England Roast, American Roast, City Roast, Full City Roast, Vienna Roast, French Roast, Full French Roast and Spanish Roast. As a rule a lighter roast will have a duller less shiny look and produce a lot of the characteristics of the original bean, whereas a darker roast loses a lot of the natural flavours. Better graded beans are usually lightly roasted in order for them to keep as much of their original characteristics as possible. Coffee roasts can be compared to the cooking of a steak, the rarer cooked meats have more of the meat flavour and as you cook it more you start to taste the cooking or "char" more.


Tea:

 Ed's Teas are a selection of teas from different regions around the world or are blended by mixing different leaves, fruits, herbs and spices. There are over 200 different species of Tea plant, the leaves of which are thick and dark green in colour. The plants have thick stems and produce white or pink blossoms. The leaves are around 80% moisture when they are picked, but have less than 10% by the time they are ready for infusion, this is to preserve and strengthen the leaf.  There are a few different types of tea including Black Tea, White Tea, Green Tea and Oolong Tea. Other infusions acknowledged as Teas are Herb, Fruit and Spice Infusions and the Rooibos Infusion (or Red Tea). Red Tea is obtained from the Rooibos plant, which is a different species to the tea plants. The leaves, when dried, become a reddish brown colour which is where the name Roobios originates, as it means red bush.


 Leaves are harvested, then are laid over mats to sun-dry or alternatively have warm air blown over them. They are then rolled to encourage the further release of moisture and allow the oxidization process to begin. The prepared leaves are then fermented by blowing humid air through them for approximately three hours. This creates the colour and flavour we associate with black teas. A further drying process halts the oxidization which concludes the Black Tea process.


 The leaf buds are picked before they develop into young leaves and are then naturally dried by the sun. This Tea goes through no other stages. Its natural delicate flavour is therefore preserved. The yield of this method is less than that of other varieties of Tea, as the leaf buds are small compared to fully matured leaves, therefore increasing the price. Leaves are harvested and are laid on bamboo drying racks to sun-dried for a short period prior to the initial roasting stage. The sun-dried leaves are then roasted in open roasters. The leaves are then manually rolled for the first time. The rolled leaves are then returned to the roasting pans for a seconded drying period, then are re-rolled into the desired shape. Oolong Tea is a black tea with a much shorter fermentation stage. This gives Oolong Tea a lighter, more delicate flavour.


 

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