Coffee ripens in ‘rounds’ which means we have to pick only the red, ripe beans and leave behind the green beans not mature yet, to be picked later. This has to been done without breaking branches, ripping off leaves and yet trying to get as much volume at a time. It is a time consuming but enjoyable process with music playing and lots of conversation between pickers.
Pulping and Fermentation
At the end of the day of picking coffee cherry, the bags are brought to the wet mill, weighed and then washed and pulped of the skin. The beans are then put into our fermentation tank, to remove the excess exterior sugars for 10-12 hours. The water is then changed, beans rinsed and then shaken loose of water to be put on the sun decks for drying.
We have three methods of drying the beans. First day, we put the wet beans on our stationary plastic roof passive solar deck with a concrete floor, which bakes the beans uniformly without splitting the outer parchment skin. After a day on this deck, we can move the beans to our Hoshidana decks, or rolling roof, of which we give our beans full sun to add some chlorophyl for color and smoothness. It may take up to ten days but generally, we can dry within 5-6 days. If we get extended clouds, we may finish drying in mechanical dryers, very slowly to emulate the sun’s heat.
Resting or Aging the Parchment
Once the coffee reaches our optimum dryness, we then put the parchment ( dried beans with parchment skin on ) in burlap to rest or age before peeling and grading green beans. This process takes a minimum of 1 month and maximum of 6 months.
After the aging and removal of the parchment, the coffee is separated into size and weight density before it is brought to the roast room. See our roast section for the specific types of roast we do. Immediately after roasting, we bag the coffee into our quality coffee bags and allow the coffee to off gas in the bag. This is the reason for the valve on the bag, allowing excess off gas to escape so the bag will not explode. Not only is the off gas very aromatic but it is carbon dioxide which slows the process of deterioration of the freshness. Roasted coffee is done daily and shipped during the off gas process, giving you fresh coffee when you order.