The coffee production process starts very far away, in the tropical regions of South America, Asia and Africa. Here the coffee is grown, harvested and processed, and then shipped to Italy, where it receives the next stages of production.
Once at destination, Mokabar takes care of accurate controls of the raw materials, roasting with traditional methods, creation of the blends and, finally, packaging and trade of the product.
Choice of raw materials
Among the about 90 known species, Coffea Arabica and Coffea Canephora (Robusta) are the most widespread and used for coffee production. The two varieties have different tastes and characteristics.
The Tropical belt represents the best climatic condition, with temperatures between 15° and 25°. The most suitable soils are volcanic soils, rich in nitrogen.
The hand picking method allows to select only the fully ripe cherries; the beans are all homogeneous, at the same level of ripeness and of the best quality.
At this point the skin is removed and the grains are put in water to ferment in order to remove the pulp from the berries. They are then washed and dried.
For the Mokabar products, the best Arabica and Robusta coffees are chosen, from which the blends are then created to offer a product of excellent quality.
Green coffee preparation
The still green coffee is spread on large patios made of beaten earth, cement or bricks, with a slight inclination, to facilitate the spillage of water. This fresh product drying phase lasts from 2 to 4 weeks and requires constant labour to constantly stir the layer of beans (up to a maximum of 20 times a day).
Coffee bean selection
The bean selection process can be carried out manually or by means of machines which, with an optical lens, finds the differences in colour between one bean and another, discarding those that are too ripe or fermented.
The selection criteria are varied, but the most common ones remain: origin, botanical species, processing method, vintage, colour and number of defects/impurities. The most important criterion of all for the selection is still the shape and size of the coffee beans.
On the basis of the score obtained by the match, the match is assigned a degree of selection ranging from zero (the "perfect" coffee) to six (the "worst" coffee), which determines the quality level. Once they have been selected, the coffee beans are placed in 60 or 69 kilos jute bags and are ready for sale to coffee roasters all over the world.
Green coffee, even if of high quality, is in general a product characterised by a very weak aroma and moreover unpleasant from an organoleptic point of view. The qualities that give the coffee a pleasant taste and aroma, in fact, come with the changes suffered by the bean during the roasting process.
We list the three main types of coffee roasting:
- "Direct flame" is the oldest method, and consists in inserting the container containing the coffee directly in contact with a flame: in this way the heat is transmitted by conduction, both between the metal surface and the beans and amongst the individual beans;
- “Air”, where the air is heated by a burner and is channelled into a roasting drum containing the coffee, is currently the most widespread method currently used;
- "Fluid bed" because of its discontinuity, is primarily suitable almost exclusively for small quantities: in this process the coffee beans are roasted, through hot air, almost suspended.
Cooling is essential at the end of the coffee roasting process, and must take place as quickly as possible! This is to avoid that, due to the exothermic reactions in progress, the level of roasting exceeds the desired one: in other words, it is necessary to avoid that the roasted coffee, as a consequence of the always active heat exchange between bean and bean, continues its cooking.
Possible creation of blends
The best coffee blends are secret roaster recipes created by blending different types of coffee with the aim of creating a unique and recognisable aromatic profile.
Each roaster, in forming its own blend of coffee beans, besides the species, chooses the origin of the beans (African, Asian, Central or South American) and the type of processing (natural or washed coffee). The recipes and secrets of the roaster (often handed down from generation to generation) allows to keep a coffee blend constant in taste and aroma, and accentuate the differentiation between the various producers. At Mokabar we are in fact proud, and we have kept our family recipes since their foundation, improved over the years and consolidated over time thanks due to the appreciation of our customers.
As it happens in the initial part of the production process, where the green coffee beans are selected and classified according to different criteria, also at the end of the production process there will be a control of the roasted beans, where, if necessary, the beans will be selected for homogeneity of roasting and any defects emerged.
Once the blends or single-origin selections have been prepared, the coffee is packaged according to the destination formats of the products. Products can be vacuum-packed on request.
Storage and distribution
The packages are then stored and the distribution phase of our blends and single origin can begin to our network of end customers, bars, restaurants, hotels and catering throughout Italy and the world.