Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Need Coffee Help and Road Scene

We've got three coffee bushes that are starting to ripen. I've looked on different websites to figure out how to process the beans, I've tried the methods and haven't had much success. The beans aren't ripening at the same time (which is normal). I read that you either ferment or dry the red flesh off and I tried the drying method and then just squished it off with my fingers. When I did that the beans looked like the ones on the plate. I put them out to dry and another almost resin like layer cracked off and that didn't leave much to do anything with. I read that it takes 5 years before you get a good crop, but how do you process them? In Papua New Guinea we saw beans on tarps on the ground - sounds like an ant disaster here. If I put them in the solar dehydrator will they dry too fast? Should I just slip off the red part and throw them in a saute pan on the stove on low and try to roast them that way? I'm a novice - help.... I don't expect to be able to make more than a shot but I'm hoping for a taste!

Now that I have the little go-everywhere point-and-shoot camera I can photograph my favorite things. I was on my way somewhere and saw this Dr. Seuss truck wobbling down the highway. Sometimes living in Puerto Rico is like living in a old movie - drivers in beat up cars going 40 on the main highway...drivers in other cars with a different time frame in mind...lots of Dr. Seuss trucks with cans in bags sky high...barrels like these...or horses towering above the driver's cab.

When I got closer I could see that everything was strapped down really really well - as long as it doesn't tip over the load is secure!


Anonymous said...

I dont know anything about coffee beans.

But maybe you should go to one of those coffee hacienda's where they give you a tour and show you how the coffee is made..

maybe it would help maybe not ?

Cassie said...

That's a good idea from Anonymous. On the road up to where we stayed in Lares there is a coffee processing plant too. I also found this online...

Looks like you take your green ones and dry them for a while until they smell like toast then roast them until they crack and are brown like what you buy in the store...not sure.

Here's what it says:

Ripe coffee cherries should be harvested and picked from trees with a high production and without any disease or other affliction. Pulp the cherry by hand, wash with water, and ferment in a small container until the pulp falls off. This can be determined simply by rubbing the coffee bean in you hands during the fermentation process. Wash again with fresh water. Any coffee beans that float at any stage of washing should be discarded. The coffee beans must then be dried to about 20% moisture content on mesh screen in open and dry air, but not in direct sunlight. After pulping, a coffee will have between 60-70% moisture content so you can determine the appropriate stopping point simply by weighing the beans. Otherwise, you can bite the bean open to ensure that it is dry on the outside and slightly soft and moist on the inside. Alternatively, a pulped coffee bean can be used immediately for planting and in some areas this is considered advantageous.

Then on to roasting:
The first stage is endothermic. The green beans are slowly dried to become a yellow color and the beans begin to smell like toast or popcorn.

The second step, often called the first crack, occurs at approximately 205 °C (400 °F) in which the bean doubles in size, becomes a light brown color, and experiences a weight loss of approximately 5%. The corresponding Agtron number for this color is between 95-90 (Davids, 68-69).

Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

I have heard this method works well for the roasting part: