Coffee beans are seeds which when dried, roasted and ground are used to brew coffee. If the seeds are not processed, they can be planted and will grow into magnificent coffee trees that produce coffee cherries.
Coffee seeds are planted in shaded seedbeds, after sprouting the seedlings are removed from the seedbeds to be planted in prepared soil.
Planting takes place during the wet season to ensure the soil around the young trees remains moist so far while the young roots become firmly established
For the newly planted coffee trees it may take between 2-3 years to begin bear the cherries, the young coffee cherry shifts from a light-green to a dark-red color when it is ripe and ready to be handpicked.
After the cherries have been picked processing begins immediately to prevent any damage to the quality of the coffee beans, the freshly harvested cherries are passed through a pulping machine where the skin as well as the pulp are separated from the beans and the pulp is washed away with water, the beans are separated by weight and conveyed through water channels “the lighter beans floating to the top while the heavier ripe beans sink to the bottom.
After the fermentation step, coffee beans are properly washed and carefully handpicked, dried in the sun on drying tables and hand sorted to ensure only the best coffee beans are processed “for the best coffee’s quality we only select the heavier parchments from which these cherries are dried on the sun until there is 12% moisture remained in the coffee beans.
After hulling, polishing, sorting and grading, roasting is the next step in which the green beans are transformed into the aromatic rich brown beans.
After successfully roasting coffee beans are ground and boiled, the cupper tastes and smells the brew to experience aroma as an integral step in the evaluation of the coffee’s quality, the coffee is allowed to rest for several minutes then the cupper breaks the crust by pushing aside the grounds at the top of the cup and the coffee is once again smelled before the last tasting taking place.
It takes 8 kilos of coffee cherries to produce 1 kilo of top quality coffee beans for exportation and local consumption.