Monday, March 12, 2012

The Coffee Process

One of my favorite experiences as a part of my internship has been carrying out the entire process of picking, de-pulping, threshing, drying, roasting, and drinking delicious coffee. The whole process takes places onsite at La Biosfera.
This is the Caturra variety of coffee. The other variety planted is Catuai, whose fruit is yellow when ripe. Both varieties from the species C. arabica, the species generally regarded to have to most robust flavor.

The coffee fruit turns a bright red when ripe, and at that point it is picked and soaked in a bucked before being depulped.

Obviously this is usually done on a much larger scale, but since we only have about 30 coffee plants, we use what very well may be the smallest coffee de-pulper on the planet.

After being de-pulped, the beans are allowed to dry out in the sun for a few days.

Once dry, the beans need to be threshed to get rid of the hard shell. This is done very easily by machine, but we wanted to do the whole process artisanally, so I filled a pillow case with the dried beans and whacked it against the floor a few times and ended up with pretty thoroughly threshed beans. 

This is what the beans look like once they have been threshed. Now, its ready to be roasted.

This type of clay dish is what was used to roast coffee before machinery ever existed. The smell of fresh coffee grew stronger and stronger as we roasted them over a bed of coals. 

The final product. Earthy and not too acidic. Yum.