Once you have picked all your cherries you need to "pulp" the cherries - that is get the seed out from inside. Coffee processing is very labour intensive and although there is equipment available to do it, for a few tress, I'm not sure its worth it. You could get a piece of wood and squash each cherry in the bottom of the bucket and push the seed out or you could do what I did and squeeze each cherry individually and pop the seed out!
This is the first few beans popped out against the freshly picked cherries to give you an indication of the size difference.
I have no idea if the cherry outers are any good for chookies so I did what I do with all food scraps that don't go to into the chook pens and popped them in the compost!
The idea is that the fermentation will break down the mucilage around the bean and remove that layer without too much fuss. If you grab a handful of beans every few hours or so and rinse them under a tap. If they are "gritty" rather than slimy, you are done and can rinse the whole lot.
At this point, cull all the floating beans as they wont be any good for making coffee and only use the "sinkers" for the nest step in the process. You can see the slimy coating on these beans. You will need to rinse them 2-3 times. Put fresh water into the bowl and agitate them for a few minutes then rinse. Use a colander or cloth to stop them from disappearing down the drain hole!
My next step is to take them to a barista friend and get him to roast and grind them for me - Ill let you know what happens next!!
Hers a few good links with other information if you are thinking of making your own coffee that I found interesting or useful.
- Coffee Processing at home
- Home roasting coffee - Wikipedia
- Ten steps from bean to cup
- Growing beans at home
- Eight acres of Eden
Green-ness: 5/5 for growing your own food!
Frugal-ness: 5/5 for using your own labour!
Time cost: A year or so to grow the tree, 30 minutes to pick, 45 minutes to squeeze each bean out, 24 hours to ferment, 10 minutes to rinse, 3 days to dry...
Skill level: Pretty easy so far - just time consuming!
Fun-ness: Great fun!!