7 COFFEE

Depending on location and local resources coffee is

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Unformatted text preview: roximately 100 to 200 pounds of coffee cherries a day, which will produce 20 to 40 pounds of coffee beans. At the end of a day of picking, each worker's harvest is carefully weighed and each picker is paid on the merit of his or her work. The day's harvest is then combined and transported to the processing plant. Mechanical Coffee Harvester Mechanical Mechanical Coffee Harvester Mechanical Freshly picked coffee (Costa Rica) Freshly Coffee Transported in Bags (Ethiopia) (Ethiopia) Processing the Cherries Processing Once the coffee has been picked, processing must begin as Once quickly as possible to prevent spoilage. Depending on location and local resources, coffee is processed in one of two ways. two The Dry Method: This is the age-old method of processing This coffee and is still used in many countries where water resources are limited. The freshly picked cherries are simply spread out on huge surfaces to dry in the sun. In order to prevent the cherries from spoiling, they are raked and turned throughout the day, then covered at night, or if it rains, to prevent them from getting wet. Depending on the weather, this process might continue for several weeks for each batch of coffee. When the moisture content of the cherries drops to 11 percent, the dried cherries are moved to warehouses where they are stored. to Freshly harvested berries of Coffea robusta Coffea Dried berries of Coffea robusta Coffea Coffee drying on a mat In The Wet Method of processing, the pulp is In removed from the coffee cherry after harvesting and the bean is dried with only the parchment skin left on. There are several actual steps involved. First, the freshly harvested cherries are passed through a pulping machine where the are passed through a pulping machine where the skin and pulp is separated from the bean. The pulp is washed away with water, usually to be dried and used as mulch. The beans are separated by weight as they are conveyed through water channels, the lighter beans floating to the top, while the heavier, ripe beans Next they are passed through a series of rotating drums which separate them by size. After separation, the beans are transported to large, water-filled fermentation tanks. Depending on a combination of factors -- such as the condition of the beans, the climate and the altitude -- they will remain in these tanks for anywhere from 12 to 48 hours. The purpose of this process is to remove the slick layer of mucilage (called the parenchyma) that is still attached to the parchment; while resting in the tanks, naturally occurring enzymes will cause this layer to dissolve. When fermentation is complete the beans will feel rough, rather than slick, to the touch. At that precise moment, the beans are rinsed by being sent through additional water channels. They are then ready for drying. drying. Wet method processing Coffee seeds after the skin is removed in parchment, coated by mucilage (left). parchment, 4 - Drying the Beans Drying Pulped and fermented be...
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