Friday, January 02, 2009

Getting to the coffee bean

There are two layers to get through before you get to the actual coffee bean that you roast and make coffee from. The first process involves getting the flesh off the red "cherry" that is picked from the tree. The second involves husking the "bean" that emerges from the cherry, once it has been cleaned and dried. [Basically, after the cherry has been "skinned" you take the beans and soak them in water for a couple of days. This process is called fermentation, and it gets rid of a slimy coating on the beans. You wash the beans thoroughly and then put them out to dry, which can take up to a fortnight. Once the beans are completely dry you put them through a husking machine, revealing a small green bean. This is the bean that you then roast.]

The video shows the first process being done with a manually operated machine. The "skins" that are spat out the back of the machine make a great compost.

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