As we process our own coffee and for two dozen other small farms in the area the work begins at the loading dock. Here we weight the coffee so that the farmers know how has been picked; enabling them to accurately pay their pickers and us to charge them for pulping and drying their coffee.
The process of pulping or wet milling the coffee will remove the outer red cherry skin. This skin is separated and shot out of the back of the mill to be used later as fertilizer. The remaining coffee beans are then put into soaking bins and left to soak in water.
After soaking overnight in water the sugary mucilage covering the beans will be ready to washed off. We do this by hand by scooping the coffee into our modified wheel barrow and washing it with fresh water and vigorous motion.
Coffee is dried in our greenhouse style drying deck. This used to be a rolling roof Hoshidan style that has been converted into a greenhouse style building. For larger amounts of coffee we also have three mechanical drying drums that using diesel furnaces can speed the drying of coffee from days into hours. Given our location drying coffee usually takes one to two weeks.
Once coffee has been dried it needs to be checked that it is dry enough to be stored. Coffee that is still to moist when stored will mildew and can spoil good coffee located in the same bag. We use several grain style moisture meters that have been calibrated for coffee. This ensures our coffee harvest can be stored to supply us well after the season is through.
The final step for our 'parchment coffee' is the drying milling. This removes the yellow paperlike parchment husk and leaves the remaining green bean behind. This green bean is then ready to roast. It is at this stage that other farms would then grate their coffee into different sizes and shapes such as Fancy or Peaberry. We keep our coffee together and sell an Estate Kona Coffee.