THE SECRETS OF THE CHERRY
The coffee draws its characteristics from the soil, water, sun and the patience and care of the growers. With time, this secret alchemy produces a red fruit, which we call the cherry. It contains two beans which will eventually reveal a unique aroma and flavour.
A few months after the coffee tree has flowered, it bears a fruit known as the "coffee cherry".
• The flowering of the coffee trees depends on the altitude, climate and the region they are grown.
• The white flower of the coffee tree releases a delicate jasmine scent. The flower loses its petals just a few days after it has been fertilised.
• The formation of the fruit from the flower occurs 6 to 8 months following flowering for the Arabica variety and 9 to 11 months for the Robusta variety.
The coffee cherries grow at different stages of maturity on the same branch:
• The coffee cherries, also known as "drupes", are green in colour at first and when the fruits mature they become an orangey-red colour (or yellow for the Yellow Bourbon variety).
• The name "cherries" is due to their colour and shape, which is reminiscent of the fruit of cherry trees.
Each cherry contains two beans that will become green coffee.
• The cherry is made up of two grains or beans lying side-by-side, surrounded by a mucilage, which is itself coated in a red, fleshy pulp. These layers are removed to reveal the green coffee: the raw material of coffee.
The nutritive soil
• The coffee is grown in the soils of the tropical belt, between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
• Coffee can only be grown in tropical regions as it requires warm temperatures and abundant rain.
• The sun nurtures the coffee and gives it its unique character.
Throughout the year, Nespresso Coffee Experts travel the world in search of the finest coffee beans from small coffee producers.
• Nespresso takes particular care in selecting the countries that supply the coffee used in its blends: Brazil, Columbia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Kenya, India and Ethiopia.
• Year after year, our Coffee Experts discover exceptional origins, which we use to make up our Special Club and Limited Edition varieties.
Arabica and Robusta, a unique alchemy
Arabica is a coffee variety grown at high altitudes. It is floral or fruity in character, quite acidic and has low caffeine content. The Robusta variety grows on plains. It is more intense with more bitterness and body and has a higher caffeine content. The subtle blending of these varieties reveals a wealth of flavours.
• Nespresso uses 95% Arabicas and 5% Robustas in its Grands Crus.
• The best Arabicas are produced close to the equator, between 1,000 and 2,000 metres high, where sunlight and relatively cold nights slow down maturation. These specific conditions favour the growth of hard, aromatic beans.
• The more rustic Robusta varieties prefer low ground located between 100 and 800 metres high and hot and humid climates.
• The Nespresso Arabica and Robusta varieties are selected according to strict quality criteria.
Next step: Coffee Harvesting