A company that aims to focus fully on the quality of the products it sells and supplies, and to lead in acting against pollution and in favour of an environmentally sustainable industrial model, must also necessarily embrace technological innovation. Co.ind’s attention to the evolution of techniques and machinery, and its readiness to invest in their adoption, justifies its vision of itself as a technologically advanced company.
In a normal working day, we have to monitor and check many different production lines: thousands of parameters, data and variables that would be absolutely unverifiable without a sophisticated and constantly updated computerised system that controls the entire production process. During the complex manufacturing process involved in coffee production, close attention must be paid to what happens during all the 5 phases of the process, namely:
- Checking growth and harvesting
Checking growth and harvesting
If one intends to create truly exceptional quality coffee, one has to check the growth and harvesting of the coffee beans. Co.ind’s production control process begins right from the beginning, in the coffee-growing countries, where the company’s experts carefully select the best raw beans from the best Arabica and Robusta varieties.
The best coffee, however, does not depend only on the plant, but also on the living and working conditions of the people who harvest it and work it. The best coffee not only stands out for its sensorial qualities, but also for the ethical message that each grain brings with it. Co.ind believes deeply in the value of fair trading conditions with third world suppliers: that’s why it has launched projects to support fairer, correct and sustainable economic conditions, and worked to obtain the coveted and exclusive FairTrade certification.
Care and verification accompany the coffee beans from the moment they are picked from the plant until they reach the production centre in Castelmaggiore (Bologna), in Italy. Here the beans undergo other checks in our in-house laboratories, where specific tasting tests and chemical and physical analysis are conducted, to check its quality and to classify each lot of raw coffee, assigning it to batches with homogeneous characteristics. To obtain a high quality product, it is crucial to select the best beans while they are still raw and green, not after roasting, so as to exclude berries not ready for roasting, and other imperfections, to the benefit of the final product.
After sorting and selecting only the best raw coffee beans, it’s time for the crucial roasting process, which subjects the beans to extremely high temperatures, in order to dehydrate, oxidise and toast them.
This delicate process requires great care: in order to eventually yield their full potential in terms of taste and aroma, the coffee beans must be brought to temperatures between 200 and 240°C and must be roasted evenly and homogeneously, without being burned or showing burn marks. This is the most challenging phase, since it takes very little to damage a lot of coffee: maximum care is imperative. In order to minimise risks, and to perform a faultless roasting procedure, the process is subjected to continuous monitoring which – thanks to ultra-precise technological and computerised systems – verifies and carefully follows the specific roasting “curves” established for each private label client. This makes it possible to produce a coffee with an aroma and taste that is personalised for each customer, and with a guaranteed quality result.
This is perhaps the most analogical and traditional phase of production, but it’s also the one that relies on the most modern technologies, while also needing the professionalism and experience of highly qualified personnel to ensure optimal results.
No one variety of coffee can create the perfect espresso on its own: a myth that everyone searches for, like El Dorado. Every single variety of Arabica and Robusta is endowed with different aromas and flavours, and to obtain a blend that can boast a full and harmonious taste it’s vital to mix the most suitable varieties with great skill and in the desired proportions.
The famed “100% Arabica” is actually a blend of several varieties of different Arabica, varieties that only those who love and understand coffee can learn to distinguish and blend correctly.
Recognising the specific characterisations of each quality, therefore, helps Co.ind to create perfect blends in this phase, so as to offer its clients the personalised tastes and aromas requested, thanks to a masterly blending process.
After the meticulously performed blending, the blended beans not destined for sale as beans must be subjected – whether to be sold as ground coffee or used to fill ESE coffee pods or coffee capsules – to the grinding process. This phase too relies heavily on technological investments made by Co.ind: using latest-generation roller mills, and high precision laser granulometers, we are able to obtain a precision high quality ground coffee mixture.
The correct calibration of the roller millstones, and stringent monitoring by the granulometer, deliver the requested fineness of grind, varying for moka pot blends, domestic coffee machines or for sale to the Horeca sector.
The fine-ground coffee must vary its fineness precisely, depending on the coffee-making method planned. Espresso machines prefer finer grinding, moka pots work better with a coarser grind.
The right size is fundamental. Too thin or too thick would risk serving a drink that has absorbed either too much or too little coffee, significantly damaging aroma and taste.
Before leaving the production line, the coffee must go through its packaging process.
The production specifications indicated by the private label client will determine the method and direct the product to the corresponding production line. The ground coffee or unground beans will always be packaged in the way most suited to their preservation: this is essential, to maintain the taste and aroma intact until the pack is opened.
Coffee must be vacuum-sealed and insulated inside air-tight packs, since the scent of the beans or of the ground coffee begins to disperse as soon as they come into contact with the air. This is why it was imperative that Co.ind developed a packing process based on stable engineering processes which guarantee perfect hermetic closure of bags, pods or capsules. The latter can then be packed individually or in practical cases, so that the packaging respects the high quality of the product contained inside. The packaging or encapsulation of ground coffee is carried out by the company directly inside the production plant, so as to better maintain the sensorial qualities of the coffee during the delicate processing phases.
One last check remains. In order to further stabilise its blended beans and its ground coffee products, Co.ind adds a further gentle touch: the packaged coffee is left in storage for at least two weeks, so that it can rest and reach the right degree of maturity. Then the final test begins. The product can be sold only if it passes a tasting session with a panel of experts, who check the consistency of its quality, its taste and its aromas, to be sure that these accurately reflect the high quality standards required by client companies and savoured by consumers.
The degree of quality that Co.ind achieves in its production of coffee in private label formulas naturally features also in the blends produced and sold through the company’s own brands: Meseta, Attibassi and Caffè Carracci.