Tuesday, November 25, 2008

KONA COFFEE 101: From Tree To Bean

Have you ever wondered how they make 100% Pure Kona Coffee ? Well, wonder no more because here is our very own primer from the Tree to the Bean ready to be roasted. (x-ref: Kona Coffee Council website for more information regarding it's "Seal Program":
http://www.kona-coffee-council.com )


Photo #1 below: The Coffee Tree. Notice the Red Coffee Cherries. The red ones are ready and ripe for the picking !



Photo #2 below: A bag full of cherries that have been placed in the holding tray of the mechanical pulping machine, aka pulper.



Photo #3 below: A beautiful close-up shot of coffee cherries just waiting to be pulped.



Photo #4 below: The Kona Coffee Farmer himself busy at work preparing the pulper with his trusty garden hose in preparation for the pulping of the cherries. Shown here is Honaunau, Hawaii Organic 100% Pure Kona Coffee Farm, "Old Hawaiian Coffee Farm", Owner-Proprietor-Farmer-Sailor-Diver, Misha Sperka. http://www.OldHawaiianCoffee.com



Photo #5 below: The cherries have begun their journey to transformation to coffee bean as they are fed through the receiver.



Photo #6 below: Conscription Pulper hard at work and shown here tendering the pulper flow bar and making sure the pulper does not overload.



Photo #7 below: Aah, our first look at the coffee beans just after they have been de-shelled and begin their next journey to roast ready beanhood.



Photo #8 below: A good look at the beans as they travel up the conveyer belt from the pulping machine.



Photo #9 below: And the beans now take their plunge from the conveyer belt into the bucket where they will soak in water to further cleanse the bean.



Photo #10: After soaking in the bucket, the beans at this particular Organic Pure 100% Kona Coffee Farm, are laid out on a sun shaded deck to dry.



Photo #11 below: In order to accelerate and balance the drying of the beans it is necessary to rake the beans. Note that the beans at this stage have 2 to 3 more layers of skin which will fluff off during the final stage of roasting which can be done, of course, on site or at the destination of the purchaser. Thus, it is quite safe and normal to tread on the beans while raking.



The beans once dried are ready to be roasted on site or bagged and shipped to its purchaser's destination for roasting. At this particular farm, the beans shown in the above first 9 photos belonged to a neighboring farm which hired this farm to mill its cherries and to prepare same for later roasting by said neighboring farmer.

In addition to the sun shaded drying method, large quantities of other farms coffee cherries/beans are dried in a commercial sized electric drum-drier until they reach the proper moisture range. As with the beans that are dried in the sun-shaded deck, the commercially dried beans, once they reach the proper reduced moisture percentage ratio, they are then ready to be roasted.

And that's it ! You are now ready for a Big Island Breakfast of Fresh Berries and Creme Filled French Toast, Eggs and Bacon at Splasher's Grill in Kailua-Kona (x-ref: http://www.splashersgrillkona.com and http://www.yelp.com/biz/splashers-grill-kailua-kona ) and, of course, a cup of Kona Coffee.....(as seen below).

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