Wow! Coffee comes from a fruit...who knew? Part II

By Simon A.

If everything goes well and your coffee trees bear coffee cherries, then the next step is to know when to harvest the cherries, and to do that you need to wait until they are bright red in color. Once you have harvested the cherries, the next step is to process them.

The first step in processing coffee cherries is to remove the pulp from them after harvesting. After you have removed all the pulp, fill a bucket with water. Stir the skin and seeds in the water and remove the skins before they settle. If you see a coffee bean float, then it means that it is not good. If you ever see a floating bean, throw it away. When you’re done you will be left with only coffee beans.

The next step is called fermentation, where natural enzymes break down the insoluble mucilage, which will become a slippery layer that you remove with your fingers. Next take the beans and leave them in a plastic bucket filled with water. This step will take around 18-24 hours, depending on the room temperature. If the skin comes off clean and the bean feels rough while washing, then you have succeeded.

The next step is to dry the coffee beans. The simplest method is to lay them out in the sun to dry. Remember to stir them three times a day. During this step, the parchment (hull) on the coffee bean will turn to a pale straw color and be brittle to touch. You can test the dryness of the bean by removing the parchment to see if the bean inside is greyish blue. You can also try biting it. If it is soft, then you need continue the drying process.

At this point, you are almost done. You just need to remove the parchment by placing the beans in a blender and use plastic blades to avoid breaking the beans. Blend at a low speed for approximately 30 seconds until you have removed all the parchment.

The last step is to roast the green beans. Spread the beans in a large baking dish and put them in the oven. A simple layer of beans will take roughly 12 minutes at 230-250 celsius to roast. After you are done roasting, quickly cool the beans down with a fan to stop them from cooking. Congratulations, you now have a fresh, delicious and cheap way of making coffee. It is time consuming, yes, but it in the end, it just might be the best coffee that you have ever tasted.