28 January 2009

Processing coffee beans

We picked the ripe coffee beans on a working bee Sunday in December with help from Steve. I think we had about half a bucketful (10L?). We consulted a guide to home processing found on the web. John started by discarding under ripe (green) and over ripe (black) beans. At this stage the bean is still covered with fruity pulp which needs to be fermented off, so the bucket was filled with water and left outside for a few days. The beans were then squeezed free of the pulp and soaked in more water to remove the slippery mucilage layer. Any beans that floated were discarded. Karyn vigorously washed the beans until they felt gritty. The wet beans were then placed in colanders and dried on a balcony in the sun for a few weeks.
The next step involved removing the dried husk to reveal the 'green' coffee bean inside. This is the most tedious part of the process and of course it is done by machines commercially. We shared the task and managed to chat at the same time but progress was slow and we are still only half way through a kilo of coffee beans!
At our next working bee we may attempt roasting, grinding and drinking.......

No comments:

Post a Comment