From plant to cup, how does your coffee get to you?

That intoxicating aroma, a familiar warmth in your hands, and that first hint of happiness as the flavourful liquid touches your lips- coffee is a ritual, a pleasure, and a joy for many of us. 

But how does it get from the plant to our favourite cup?

The answer is that it is quite a long process with lots of variations depending on the kind of coffee you drink, where you buy it from, and how you make it. 


Coffee beans are actually seeds, and if we did not put them through the whole process below, we could plant them and watch them grow. Seeds are planted into shallow beds until they sprout before being transferred to pots and put in the shade with plenty of water.

Once they are mature enough, they are moved to their permanent home, best done during the rainy season, to ensure they stay hydrated.


It takes between three to four years for a coffee plant to start producing fruit, otherwise known as cherries. These cherries start off green and gradually turn bright red as they ripen, but some varieties can also turn pink, orange or yellow.

The lower the altitude and the warmer the climate, the quicker they ripen. It is preferred to hand-harvest the coffee cherries as this ensures only those that are ripe are gathered. It is an intense and laborious process which involves checking each cherry before picking.

Each cherry can mature at a different rate, meaning one crop can take three harvesting and different times. Of course, there are some farms that use machines but there is more room for error here.


Once the cherries have been harvested, it is time to process them. This includes taking off the skin and stripping back some of the flesh, depending on the method of processing used.

There are multiple different types of processing including honey processed, washed, natural, dry, and each produces a different flavour, aroma, and level of acidity.


The next step is to hull the coffee beans which means removing the dried exterior husk.  Some processors will then polish the bean to remove any silver skin,  producing a better quality end-product. It is then time to grade the beans depending on their size and weight, as well as checking for any flaws such as colour inconsistencies.

This can be done by hand or with a machine which uses air to separate them depending on weight, and size. After the milling process, the top quality beans are sold as premium coffee, while those with imperfections are sold as lower quality.


Then the coffee tasting takes place where individuals gargle coffee in the back of the mouth to try and pick out aspects of its taste and flavour, similar to how people do with wine. Specifically they look for the level of acidity, the body, and any after taste.


Roasting the coffee beans unlocks all the flavours that are locked inside them, transforming them into the particular kind of coffee that you know and love. It takes place at a temperature of around 287 degrees Celcius with the beans being turned constantly to ensure a consistent roast. 

Once the beans themselves reach a temperature that ranges between 204 and 220 degrees Celsius, they start to turn dark brown with a slight oily sheen noticeable on the outside. 

Once roasted, they pass to the cooling tray to bring down the temperature. Typically, beans are roasted until they are either light, medium, or dark, each with a different flavour and aroma.


Grinding is where the beans are crushed to a consistency that allows it to be used in different kinds of coffee brewing equipment, for example a moka pot, dripper, or press. The beans are ground to the exact specification of the customer and then put in sealed bags so as not to lose their flavour when not being used.

It is always better to grind the coffee right before using it, and the use of a small hand or automatic grinder is highly recommended.


At Vicky Coffee, we have a carefully curated selection of the finest coffees from the world’s best coffee producing regions.

We pride ourselves on sourcing our coffee responsibly, supporting women involved in the industry, and offering it to you at a price that is fair to you, and those who helped bring it to you.

You can browse our selection here.