I spent yesterday afternoon with Rich Lipner of Dos Jefes roasting some of my coffee.
My coffee plants flowered just a few weeks ago after our first seasonal rain on Jaramillo. I did not know that the rain at the right time of the year triggers the blossoms.
The cycle from those blossoms to the finished product is almost a year. First the growth, then harvest starts in cycles starting near Halloween on my farm, the final harvest at year end. Coffee cherries do not all ripen at the same time, therefore anything but human picking adds mature and green cherries, we just want the red mature cher.
We cherry pick by hand, one red cherry at a time usually picked by indigenous labor paid by the volume of cherries they pick. I have tried to pick coffee and I cannot even come close to what the professionals can do.
Within a day of picking we take our cherries over to the Cafe Ruiz Beneficio to be cleaned of the husk and dried. They measure the cherries out by the Lata, the can, a five gallon can, the same unit used to measure the productivity of the pickers.
After cleaning the cherry to remove the husk they sun dry the green beans.
We then cure the beans for three or more months to reach the correct moisture level. Then a thin layer of what we call parchment is removed from the green beans. I use Ruiz for doing this process also, but the traditional method uses a large mortar and pestle similar to the one pictured below.
After the parchment is removed we hand sort the beans looking for bad beans, broken beans, or cherries that made through the pulping process of husk removal.
Finally it is time to roast in small batches, about four pounds per roast. That is what Rich and I did yesterday.
After the roast and cooling we go through the beans one more time to remove any previously missed bad beans or any that are off color. All of this is a labor of love, because there is no way anyone can pay enough to cover all the costs of hand picked gourmet coffee production. This is not the same way the big boys do it, they need to make a profit.
You can almost smell the aromatic of fresh Ferdabella Boquete coffee in this photo.