Sunday, September 18, 2011

Coffee harvest

Over the weekend Fiona and I have been doing a few catchup chores on the block - weeding, dead-heading the agapanthus, pruning the camellias, spraying the broad-weeds with weed and feed etc. Our coffee plantation (only 30 bushes) needed attention on a number of front including getting ripe coffee cherries off. As you can see from the photo below we have two colours of coffee cherries even though they are both dwarf forms of arabica robusta.

Barry Smith © Bowl of coffee cherries
We had lots of red cherries last year but few this year - but an abundance of yellow cherries.

Barry Smith © Coffee cherries on the bush
We picked two large bowls of cherries in about half an hour.

Barry Smith © Bowl of cherries 2
The next stage  is to pulp the cherries to get the outer fruit pulp off. We have invested in a hand operated pulper from South America; and it worked a treat. Pulping the two bowls of cherries with fingers would have taken about 4 hours - we did it in 15 minutes.

Barry Smith © Hand operated pulper
Barry Smith © Freshly pulped beans 
Barry Smith © Pulp
The beans are now soaking for a couple of days to get the rest of the slimy fruit layer off; and then they will be ready for drying.
Barry Smith © Soaking coffee beans
Barry Smith © Soaking beans
But that is not the end - we will then remove the dry outer chaff-shell; and the inner green bean will be ready for roasting and then grinding. A long way from bush to cup. And given the amount of cherries on the bushes we think there will a few more batches yet. But we know where they came from and how they were grown and harvested etc.


  1. oh my ... it is harvest time again? it is a year already? i still remember your first harvest like it was yesterday and your new coffee maker! that time, i'd just got to know you B. oh my ... is our friendship a year old already?? WOW!!! :)

  2. that was a learning experience - i didn't realize how little i knew about coffee beans... thank you! as for the other shots in the past posts... always beautiful to see your world... and the effects you achieve with your iphone apps...

  3. Coffee is REALLY labour intensive. We gave up after the first few harvests took FOREVER to process. Love your machine... that helps.

  4. Good start - if I dehusk a bucket load may I please have a cup of coffee this year? xoxoxo

  5. I am sending a link of this post to the Alchemist!

  6. LT, MD, JM, N & HHB - so many small things we share unite us. LT - it is hard to think it has only been 12 months - I feel we have know each other for much longer. MD - the process helps us to appreciate our coffee so much more. Glad you enjoy photos and app work on some of them. JM - machines make the difference. N- there will be coffee for you. HHB - please do share with A. Go well. B


Comments are welcomed - it is good to connect with fellow travellers.