Examining the Speciality Coffee Industry & why Unroasted Coffee Beans are so highly prized

Unroasted Coffee Beans, Unroasted Coffee

Green coffee beans, otherwise referred to as unroasted coffee beans, are a highly sought after commodity within the coffee industry. Every coffee-drinker will be well aware of the enticing smell and rich flavours of a freshly brewed cup of coffee, but very few are aware of how a high quality cup of coffee comes in to being. In this piece we will delve into the industry and take a look at the essential ingredient that is the unroasted coffee bean, uncovering who seeks to purchase them, and exactly how they are used.

To really appreciate the value of unroasted coffee beans, let's begin by ascertaining their origin. Green coffee beans are the seeds of the coffee plant which have been picked, but that have as yet, not undergone any roasting process. In their unroasted form, coffee beans are pale green in colour and lack the characteristic smell and taste associated with a brewed cup of coffee.

Whilst they could be described as fairly unassuming in this state, don’t be fooled into thinking they aren’t very valuable. Unroasted coffee beans are the single most important ingredient of coffee, and the quality and pedigree of unroasted coffee beans largely define how good the end product will be.

So, who purchases coffee beans that are yet to be roasted? Well, smaller-scale specialty coffee retailers,  and large-scale coffee producers are two of the largest purchasers of unroasted coffee beans, but home roasters and dedicated enthusiasts also seek unroasted beans with which they use to experiment to create different blends and unique flavours.

Back to coffee retailers and producers, the reason why they choose unroasted instead of roasted beans, is that by roasting their beans in-house, they have the ability to then create distinctive flavour profiles and blends that set them apart from other brands. Large-scale coffee producers carefully select and purchase unroasted beans from coffee-growing regions all over the world, ensuring a consistent supply of quality coffee can meet the demands of consumers. Both producers and retailers have a profound understanding of the value of green coffee beans and will go to great lengths to source them from trusted suppliers and growers. 

Unroasted beans contain many different compounds, including acids, sugars, oils, and aromatics, all of which contribute to the flavour profile of the final coffee product. This versatility and potential for flavour exploration ensure that unroasted coffee beans remain highly prized by coffee enthusiasts and producers alike.

By selling unroasted beans directly to buyers, growers and harvesters in coffee growing countries such as India can enjoy a greater share of the profits. This direct trade model fosters stronger relationships between farmers and buyers, ensuring transparency, sustainability, and a more equitable distribution of wealth within the coffee supply chain.

To close then, without these unassuming green beans we would not have the aromatic brews, and delicious rich flavours which we enjoy in our cups of coffee on a daily basis.