Monday, November 19, 2012

How to process coffee beans - Part 1

 After issues with cameras, then computers dying, then simply getting out of the habit of looking at the world with my blog spectacles on (ie. thinking "I'll put this on the blog", then taking the appropriate picture etc. etc.), it's been a prolonged absence. But here I am. Let's crack on shall we?
We've started picking coffee, and 2012 looks like the best season yet. We have three bushes, and with the high rainfall of the last couple of years, all the bushes have grown substantially and are covered with berries.
I would put growing coffee beans in the novelty category of self-sufficiency. Three bushes is no where near enough for caffeine self-sufficency for us. More than that, without machinery, processing the berries is labour intensive. Any more beans than what we have and the novelty would wear off, well and truly.
This is the first batch of beans for the season (the berries don't ripen at the same rate on the tree, thank goodness, otherwise this would be completely undoable). We've just taken the soft red outer skin of the berry off. Then, into a bowl with a bit of water to ferment for a day or so, before they go into a tray in the sun to allow the slimy coating to harden.

It's been an interesting couple of months here workwise at Spades and Spoons. I lost my job suddenly, but not unexpectedly, in May. Since then I have been looking for work without success. I'm guessing a combination of a depressed local economy, and let's face it, my age, are against me. I can't think of another reason. This has never happened to me before - I've always found work when I wanted to work. This time, it's different and it is difficult not to get despondent about it at times.
What irks me most, though, is the reaction of people to my jobless status, normally people who do not know me. "Don't you get bored?" they ask, as if it my choice to not have a job. Actually, no, boredom is not a problem I have. (I am never quick enough to reply "Jobs are for people who get bored easily!") Nope, boredom is not the problem. There is too much to do, and I have too many interests. Indeed, the upside of being jobless is that I've been able to pursue those interests. Another upside is I feel a lot healthier than I did this time last year when I was pretty much working full time.
So it's not all bad.  I'll just keep plugging away with applications that don't get acknowledged, and keep hoping that Christmas will bring me a job!

Lastly - Blogger tells me this is my 300th post! Yay!


Tracy said...

How does the homegrown coffee taste compare to other coffee Paola? I know what you mean about growing things in for the novelty. That's how I look at peanuts and popcorn both of which I grow. Though they don't need the processing that coffee does. The rice I grew a couple of years ago was a lesson in hands on processing that's for sure.
Good luck with the job hunting. In the meantime, have fun.

kbenco said...

I processed a small amount of coffee beans a year or so again, and remember it took FOREVER to peel off all the skins. Do you have any tips? I got all excited when you mentioned machinery in the thought there might be an easier way.
This year I am very lazy, and have let them all drop off the trees by themselves.
Good luck with the job hunting. Working at your hobbies is much more fun,I agree.
Congratulations on post 300.

Cabbage Tree Farm said...

Hello Paola, we have 2 coffee plants that are tiny and have not fruited yet. How long do they normally take to start producing do you know? Thanks for sharing your info.
Sorry to hear about the work situation, hope you find something suitable soon. I wouldn't get bored at all if I didn't have to work, like you I always lots of projects on the go (too many really!).
Best wishes Bridget

africanaussie said...

Oh if there is one thing I hate it is looking for a job. I hope something comes up soon. I hope you are doing ok financially without that income. I have often wanted to grow coffee, but also suspected that the crop is not very much form one bush.

Libby said...

Well done on the coffee beans. I often joke that I'm too busy to have a job - but I honestly feel that way a lot of the time. I know I'm indeed very lucky that I don't have to work and that I'm very happy at home.

Glad to see you back blogging. I miss hearing what you're up to.