Our Coffee Process
We start from Seedbeds where Coffee is grown from fresh selected seeds in different varieties from plants with good productivity with low or no incidence of rust and good cup quality, Coffee seed that is used for planting is actually parchment where the parchment hull still in place.
During the Nursery step It takes 3 months to get the "chapola" ready to be transferred to a poly bag , it needs to be well followed during the next 5 months to be transplanted to the soil and it takes 2 years to produce the first harvest.
We wait for Coffee Trees ready to be harvested with a bright red and ripe cherries for specialty coffees, we work our coffees in washed, honey and natural processes, each one of them develops a different cup profile, then Coffee farmer instructs pickers to pick only red and ripe cherries and assign areas for picking depending on ripeness level. The crop is picked by hand in a intensive labor and difficult process due the high and inclination of the mountains.
Pickers -women & man- normally start working at 6 am to 6 pm rain or shine with an hour lunch time at the farm. Picking mature cherries need more dedication from the pickers getting less amount in kilos but more income when it is picked for specialty coffees. When cherries are picked for inexpensive coffees amount in kilos is higher but income is lower for pickers and farmers.
Twice a day pickers go up or down the hill on the way to the weighing facility at the farm, each sack of cherries weights 80 kg approximately. Pickers rotate among the trees every 10 days to get more cherries at the peak of ripeness, this type of work is more costly since we are looking to harvest the finer Arabica beans.
Pickers are paid based on kilos picked during the day, amount is determined by picker's efficiency an efficient picker can collect 100 kg of cherries per day in a good harvest an average picker between 70-72 kg.
During the Post-harvest the Coffee cherries are ready for pulping process as soon as is harvested to prevent fruit spoilage going them direct to the tanks for washing and fermentation, normally using the wet method where the cherries are passed through a pulping machine that removes the pulp from the coffee cherry so the bean is dried with only the parchment skin left on. Then cherries are selected through the water channel by weight where lighter beans float to the top and the heavier ripe beans sink to the bottom during the pulping process on the other side of the pulping machine we get the skin and it is used as organic fertilizer in the same lands or industry is giving other usages as for dry infusions for example.
After the separation the beans go to a large water tank to fermentate, those beans will be in the tank between 12 to 48 hours to remove the mucilage that is part of the parchment. Brix level (sugar level) in the bean is measured during the process with a refractometer.
Moving the beans in the tank make part of the process to remove the slick layer of mucilage, when fermentation is completed the beans still feel rough to the touch then they are rinsed going to an additional water channel. As wet method is most used then after the pulping and fermentation the beans have to be dried to get between 11 to 12% moisture then it would be the right point to be stored.
To get the right point of drying it is sun-dried and needs to be spread and moved evenly on the floors to avoid mold. In Colombia driers called " truck type" are the most commonly used which are raised having also vents spaces to have the right air flow, during this step, moisture is measured with a Moisture Meter to reach the right %.
After Parchment coffee is well dried then is ready for storage in yute sacks, then go to threshing plants where a hulling machine removes the parchment shell passing also by a size classification and also color flaws and imperfections are taken apart, in Colombia the process of selection is done mechanically but also by hand to ensure the finest quality coffee beans.
Green coffee for export is packed in GrainPro bags and yute Sacks to guarantee the quality of the beans, specially when coffee will be in a long transit time to the final destination.
Green coffee ready for loading to be exported to USA or Europe, then we receive it in our coffee shop where we start the roasting process to have it ready for our drinks and bags.