In our previous blog post, we were writing about where do our 100% Kona coffee beans come from. But what happens when the beans are picked?
The next stage is our process is a very important one to ensuring the high quality of our coffee. Most coffee cherries have two coffee beans growing inside them. Only in 2-3% of the time will only one bean form and that is what we call a Peaberry. Actually it is a mutant deformed bean, but a beautiful one. More on that to come in a future blog!
The coffee beans inside the cherry are actually the seed or pit, and the skin being the fruit. The beans need to be removed from the skin or husk and dried. Predominantly in Central America the entire cherry is sun dried in a natural way without removal. This technique leaves open the possibility of mold affecting the flavors.
In our process, we prefer to perform a ‘wash process’ where we wash and soak the cherries in water, in huge bath tubs. If for any reason a coffee cherry floats, we know it is bad and we can dispose of it.
Once the red cherry skins have softened and loosened enough, we transfer them to a drum roller, with a screen, where they are processed and the parchment, pulp and other skins are stripped away. This extracted ingredients are rich in nutrients and anti-oxidants, and are used in other products including fertilizers later.
All that remains are the wet beans. We will spread those out on a rooftop here in Kona and dry them slowly over a long period. Drying is a very important stage which is carefully monitored as over-drying is bad for the green coffee bean. When finished we are left with a green coffee bean with the perfect moisture content!