When we are asked questions about coffee on social media, by phone or by email, perhaps enquiring how a blend is created, how our beans are processed or where they come from, we are always very happy and proud of our beloved customers.
This is because we realise just how precious our customers’ thirst for knowledge and curiosity about our favourite drink is. On our blog, you’ll find many posts dedicated to the types of Caffè Aiello and their characteristics. Posts that aim to constantly improve your knowledge about the drink you are tasting and offer you useful tips on distinguishing an excellent espresso from the many kinds available on the market.
Today we will open the doors of our plant to you and, after a brief journey to the finest coffee-producing countries in the world, we’ll take you straight to the heart of the Caffè Aiello production process.
How Caffè Aiello is made
The countries that supply the raw material
Our founder Gaetano Aiello travelled far and wide and we have continued to follow his lead, both by travelling extensively in person and by sending our long-standing trusted international intermediaries to the countries that supply our raw materials, armed with their expertise on plantations and territories. The raw material used to make Caffè Aiello comes from the top coffee-producing countries in the world: Brazil, Central America, Central Africa, and India.
Selecting the beans
All our raw beans are chosen from year to year based on the climate and the quality of the soil in that given period. Our expert representatives verify that the soil is slightly acidic and contains the right nutritional substances, and that the hosting climate is characterised by an alternating mix of warmth, shade, rain, and humidity. All conclusions required to ensure the correct and healthy growth of the coffee plant.
Healthy plants produce the healthy beans we choose to process. We select the raw beans, still green, then these are polished and placed in special sacks to ensure they are transported in the best possible conditions.
When they arrive at our plants, the raw beans undergo an advanced sorting process to ensure the removal of any metal foreign bodies. The best beans, those of top quality, can then be stored in silos, separated according to their country of origin.
With the roasting process, we enter the heart of the in-house production process. The most important, delicate stage, which is a key area of focus for us.
The raw coffee is only roasted by way of convective heat transfer. In our view, this is the most suitable technique for preserving the unique aroma of a superior coffee. Additionally, to preserve the organoleptic characteristics of each variety intact, for each type of single-origin raw bean we use a dedicated, medium roasting method.
During the roasting process, the beans lose weight, gain volume, and change colour. Finally, they take on that characteristic coffee odour known as the aroma.
The automated management of the roasting process is a way of guaranteeing the smooth operation of every single stage. And the roasted coffee is always sampled and analysed to check that it is roasted to perfection.
After the roasting stage, the cooling process begins. Here, we use the air method to prevent any contact with water, preserve the specific organoleptic properties intact and ensure that the aroma and taste of the espresso obtained from the blends is not altered.
Once the cooling phase is over, the beans must be allowed to rest to eliminate the natural gases that develop inside them during the roasting process.
In the degassing phase, they must be left to rest for from 2 to 4 days, based on various factors, including the type of coffee, the humidity, and the season of the year.
We like to call our blends recipes. For us they are real exclusive recipes, capable of endowing our coffee with the unique and unmistakeable body and taste of real Italian espresso. Without this level of sensitivity in the production process, this familiarity with the right proportions of each ingredient of the blend, and the correct dosage of the different qualities, even an excellent raw material risks fading into insignificance.
The coffee is blended according to Gaetano Aiello’s Secret Recipes, mixing precise quantities of each type of coffee under the supervision of advanced technology to ensure continuously high levels of taste and quality.
The process ends with the packing stage. This is another very delicate step, decisive for preserving the organoleptic characteristics of the coffee over time. For the packs containing beans, this step takes place on the three packing machines nearest the silos to minimise the distance travelled by the beans and reduce the risk of them breaking and arriving damaged.
For ground coffee, the roasted beans are first transported to the mill where they are ground, then stored in stainless steel silos where they are degassed with food-grade nitrogen to remove all excess carbon dioxide.
Instead, when packing pods, the beans are sent to the two mills of the pod packing machines, where they are ground and packed in pod filter paper, within a protective atmosphere.
Once packed, the production process of our blends comes to an end, and our coffee is ready to win over the demanding palates of Italian espresso connoisseurs, both in Italy and all over the world.