Origins Of The Bean | A Live Oak Coffee to Cup Story

Origins Of The Bean. A Live oak coffee to cup story. by _ Sean Bartley.png

There are many things in life that I love to “nerd out” on. When I was younger I was the child that always asked my parents “why” and “how” to almost every event and situation. When I entered the world of coffee, this was the exact same situation. I love all of the conversations I have with customers when they come into Live Oak, but some of my favorite conversations are the ones where I get to educate people of the community about coffee.

In a series of posts, I want to show you what coffee is, where it comes from, and why “the story behind the bean” is such an important part of a coffee professional’s mindset and educational process.

At Live Oak you get a warm and delicious cup of coffee from coffee grown all around the world, let’s take a moment to backup and reflect on what coffee is and where our coffee comes from.

Part 1: What is Coffee?

Coffee beans themselves are the “seed” of a fruit or “coffee cherries”. They are grown on a plant (technically a shrub), and the plants themselves are often covered with dark or waxy leaves that grow in pairs. After about a year or so, the coffee cherries bloom into beautiful white blossoms.

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(Photo http://www.motifcoffee.com/brew-your-best/coffee-fundamentals/about-coffee-plant)


Coffee plants are trimmed and pruned about once a year depending on region. They can live between 30-40 years.

There are two types of coffee plants, Arabica and Robusta. Arabica is a coffee plant grown at a higher elevation and is a much better quality type of coffee. Robusta is a cheaper and less maintained type of coffee that is commonly used in commercial production (folgers, maxwell house etc) due to its lower quality and cost.

The first Arabica coffee plant was discovered in Ethiopia (one of my favorite coffee regions) and this is where almost half of the coffee in the world comes from.

In part two of our conversation, I am going to explain to you how coffee is harvested and the different processes used to clean, dry, and get green coffee ready to ship out to your local coffee roaster like our friends over at Creation coffee here in midland!

See you around! Peace out!

by : Sean Bartley