At harvest time, coffee trees are laden with bright red coffee cherries. An unroasted coffee bean is simply the pit of the coffee cherry.
The skin of the coffee cherry is very thick, with a slightly bitter flavor. The fruit beneath the skin, however, is intensely sweet with a texture similar to grape. Beneath the fruit is the parchment, which serves as a protective pocket for the seed, much like the small pockets that protect the seeds of an apple. Remove the parchment and you’ll generally find two green coffee beans, ready for washing and roasting.