Sunday, January 26, 2014

Coffee from the source

Earlier this month I got to do something I had never done before. Pick and process some local coffee. I had seen coffee growing in the Sydney botanic gardens once when I lived there, but this was taking it to the next level. 

Now a developing polyculture chemical free farm Buena vista runs weekend workshops and sells produce through local markets and the not for profit food company that I also sell some of my produce through. 

We showed up to a beautiful day and a spread of tea, coffee and cake served with beautiful vintage china, then headed out for a tour of the farm. pigs with paddocks, chicken caravans, beautiful gardens, all overlooking the beautiful south coast!

Eventually we headed to the coffee plantation, which was planted in the top paddock of the old dairy farm after the farmer retired from milking, in the lounging paddock, soil built up over years of cattle resting there after feeding for the day. 

The coffee berries are red and sweet, and easy to pick, and lots of great conversations about coffee and the farm was had as the harvest was nearly over and there was actually not a lot left.

Once we had stripped off the remaining berries we headed back to the shed to process them, extracting the beans from the berries, cleaning mucous off and setting them out to dry. The beans need to dry for about a week before anything else can happen so luckily a previously picked batch was just finishing and we took that in to hull

Coffee beans are a little like peanuts once you get them out of the fruit, with a hull or husk, skin and then the bean inside, ready to roast. 

The roasting took place in a large steel tube with tines inside that stirred the beans as it turned over a gas flame. Sitting a talking about coffee and farming whilst listening for the coffee to "crack" in the afternoon sun was a pleasure. 

During the day we also were fed a beautiful lunch sourced almost entirely from the farm including pork sausages and smoked chicken... And then at the end of the day a coffee taste test and a coffee tree each to take home! I can reccomend a visit to the farm, or a try of any of their produce. 

I think it's happy here, already has two sets of new leaves. Let me know if you want to come over for coffee in around 2-3 years time :)

I think my next post might have to be on having patience...


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