coffeesnobs BeanBay
Roasted Coffee | Green Coffee | Tea Tisanes | Cocoa Chai | Snob Wear | Behmor Roaster | & Other Stuff
Results 1 to 37 of 37
Like Tree2Likes
  • 1 Post By Vinitasse
  • 1 Post By Vinitasse

Thread: Coffee hydroponics

  1. #1
    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia.
    Posts
    1,413

    Coffee hydroponics

    Cafelat Coffee Tamper and Accessories
    Been scouring the forum and im not sure if its been discussed before.

    Im aware that coffee can be grown in parts of the eastern states.
    Obviously here we have a mediterranean climate which is unsuitable for coffee growing, but i wonder if grown inside a green house and using coco as the growing medium, would that be entirely possible?
    If the requirements of moisture levels, temperature and lighting can be manipulated in the way that mimics the ideal conditions that coffee plants require, what are the chances?

    This kind of venture on a backyard scale is for bragging rights. If trees results in harvestable beans, then its a bonus.

    Another challenge that faces me or anyone contemplating this kind of project would be how to source.... plants or seed?
    Western Australia has strict requirements when it comes to plant material coming into the state.
    I flicked through a few catalogues for mail order plants from over east, and found a lot of them are excluded from WA.

    Ive grown tomatoes and strawberries hydroponically, but growing greenhouse coffee may be a serious challenge perhaps not even worth contemplating, unless someone can prove me wrong...... ;)

    Gary at G

  2. #2
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    10,459

    Re: Coffee hydroponics

    Garry I think youll struggle when the plants reach 2 metres high.
    Whats going to stop them falling over long before that?

    Im growing in Sydney and this years crop is looking like heaps compared to the first one last year.

    Main worry is avoiding frost and then sheltering from wind.
    When they were smaller I surrounded them with shade cloth on all sides and above overnight in winter.
    From about year 2 on I removed the top cover and now theyre at 2 metres tall the side wind breaks are long gone.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    53

    Re: Coffee hydroponics

    I dont see why coffee plants canít be trained like grape vines on trellises? Call me a n00b, but cant green beans germinate?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    5,061

    Re: Coffee hydroponics

    Quote Originally Posted by 7F5C4146405E5457594050350 link=1300259247/2#2 date=1300263710
    I dont see why coffee plants canít be trained like grape vines on trellises?* Call me a n00b, but cant green beans germinate?
    Coffee trees can be trained to a certain extent however I havent heard of anyone trying a trellis method as they probably dont grow like a vine

    KK

  5. #5
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Altona, Melbourne
    Posts
    988

    Re: Coffee hydroponics

    Quote Originally Posted by 62464F4F4C4C7662465A4446290 link=1300259247/3#3 date=1300266427

    Coffee trees can be trained to a certain extent however I havent heard of anyone trying a trellis method as they probably dont grow like a vine

    KK*
    Should be able to espalier them like any other tree,not sure how that would affect production though

  6. #6
    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia.
    Posts
    1,413

    Re: Coffee hydroponics

    Well, i was thinking more of a marque style set-up with canvas wall surround supported by iron poles for wind protection. Has to be wind proof as i want the plants to grow on their own unassisted. Misted strong plastic roofing for diffused light to get through as well as for wind barrier.

    Either large wooden wine barrels or plastic pots with coco as the growing medium and drip feeding system for watering.

    I was down at the local hydroponic centre in Canning Vale and saw bananas, oranges, cumquat and mango tree at 3 metres tall thriving.

    The biggest problem i see is temperature. Perth temps can get down to past 0 deg on a "dry" winter.
    And the only proper way round this is a glass house rather than greenhouse style.
    And then theres cost.
    Having a air conditioning unit to regulate temperature is costly initially to buy and to run thereafter.

    It is a project i am contemplating further down the track pending available finances and careful planning. So at the moment its dreamland for me.* ;)

    Gary at G

  7. #7
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    10,459

    Re: Coffee hydroponics

    Quote Originally Posted by 736964657761797373000 link=1300259247/5#5 date=1300292983
    The biggest problem i see is temperature. Perth temps can get down to past 0 deg on a "dry" winter.
    Perth is further north than Sydney; why so cold at times?
    I only get a few odd days of frosty mornings in winter.

  8. #8
    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia.
    Posts
    1,413

    Re: Coffee hydroponics

    Good question TG,

    Perth apart from big differences between its seasons, meaning summers are searing dry and hot with hardly any rain, and winter nights are cold though daytime temps are mild ( mid to high teens). When it rains in winter here, the variation between max and minimum temps is not great, but when a high pressure system takes over, we get warm daytime temps but quite cold nights with very little moisture to retain heat.

    I dont know much about Grafton, but perhaps you can compare your past experiences there to your current position in Sydney. Or you could study the weather in Broken Hill. Being inland, theres a wider variation.

    How does this relate to coffee growing?
    There in Byron Bay, tablelands of Qeensland etc., youve got wet warm, moist but not searing summers and mild winters where minimum temps are not so low. Therefore the requirements to grow are met.

    Over here in the west, i don;t think theres any way of growing coffee in the conventional way unless someone can control wind shelter, growing medium, moisture levels, lighting and temperature. This is where hydroponics come in... at a price.

    Not interested in growing robusta, but trying to research into the best arabica varietals that is the hardiest.

    Gary at G

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    448

    Re: Coffee hydroponics

    Coffee trees require a fair amount of nutrients, yet grows over many years, I highly doubt it would work due to the risk you would run with algae growth in the water. UV treating the water might make it viable..but realistically, for the amount of growing time required and energy youd need to run the hydroponic setup cleanly and effectively, I dont think this would be worthwhile. I think youd be better to invest in a greenhouse than a proper hydroponic setup.

  10. #10
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Internet
    Posts
    13,424
    Blog Entries
    1

    Re: Coffee hydroponics

    Quote Originally Posted by 280C050506063C280C100E0C630 link=1300259247/3#3 date=1300266427
    I havent heard of anyone trying a trellis method
    Kona Joe does...
    http://www.konajoe.com/patented_trellis_coffee.html

    I tried to buy some green beans from him a couple of years ago but he is selling more brown then he can grow so isnt interested in selling green ones.

    Oh... and it has a USA Patent too
    ::)

    *Coffee trellis is a patented creation of Kona Joe Coffee.
    US Patent 6,449,898 B1

  11. #11
    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia.
    Posts
    1,413

    Re: Coffee hydroponics

    Thanks for the interesting article Andy.

    In a greenhouse environment theres very minimum wind movement because of the walls as well as the roofing, therefore plants should be able to support themselves as long as the roots are secured in the growing medium.

    Algae can be controlled by careful preventative maintenance of the system.

    Won;t just be growing coffee, available space can also be used to grow fruits and veggies too.

    Hydroponics are expensive to set up initially but after that, running costs are not too high.

    Certainly, all Im doing is growing a couple of plants in a controlled environment not to make money, but as a hobby.

    I guess whats left after learning to brew and roast coffee, is to grow those things. ;)

    Gary at G

  12. #12
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    3,310

    Re: Coffee hydroponics

    Quote Originally Posted by 6E414B562F0 link=1300259247/9#9 date=1300369870
    Oh... and it has a USA Patent too
    I dont know how they can get away with patenting a horticultural method that has been used for centuries: espalier

    Do it, let him sue and then he has to prove you stole his idea???

  13. #13
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    5,061

    Re: Coffee hydroponics

    Ahh espalier
    Thats the method I was thinking of when I said
    Quote Originally Posted by 50747D7D7E7E4450746876741B0 link=1300259247/3#3 date=1300266427
    Coffee trees can be trained to a certain extent
    KK

  14. #14
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    3,310

    Re: Coffee hydroponics

    Quote Originally Posted by 67434A4A49497367435F41432C0 link=1300259247/12#12 date=1300408621
    Ahh espalier
    Thats the method I was thinking of when I said Coffee trees can be trained to a certain extent
    Well we knew you werent thinking of a whip and chair or obedience classes ;)

  15. #15
    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia.
    Posts
    1,413

    Re: Coffee hydroponics

    I was wondering about that too.

    I thought getting a patent is viable if say you designed a Behmor, a label for a chocolate factory or a device that is at the frontier. Surely it does not apply if a technique of training a plant is used, unless i did not read that article thoroughly at 2am half asleep :-X

    For the time being, im going to get a couple of coffee plants from a nursery in the swan valley, and grow them in pots in a sheltered area, while the planning stages of the greenhouse is underway.

    Keep you all informed.

    Gary at G

  16. #16
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Warwick, QLD
    Posts
    12,867

    Re: Coffee hydroponics

    I think what you do in your own home for your own use is your own business, especially for something like this..... >:(

    Why am I NOT surprised that a patent has been applied for in that part of the world; youve just got to shake your head at the stupidity and then get on with it..... ::)

    Mal.

  17. #17
    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia.
    Posts
    1,413

    Re: Coffee hydroponics

    I have re-read the link that Andy sent us just to be sure.

    Im with you on that one too Mal* :-?

    Method and apparatus using wire, wood and metal. Patented. Hmmm.

    Gary at G

  18. #18
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Internet
    Posts
    13,424
    Blog Entries
    1

    Re: Coffee hydroponics

    Quote Originally Posted by 173A3E323F530 link=1300259247/15#15 date=1300434540
    youve just got to shake your head at the stupidity and then get on with it
    Wise words Mal.

    The granted patent was the reason that I remembered this guy so if nothing else it was a good marketing ploy.
    ::)

    Happy coffee growing Gary however you train them.

  19. #19
    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia.
    Posts
    1,413

    Re: Coffee hydroponics

    Ta Andy.

    Thanks to all for your concern and advise.

    Gary at G

  20. #20
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    3,310

    Re: Coffee hydroponics

    Quote Originally Posted by 547B716C150 link=1300259247/17#17 date=1300455758
    The granted patent was the reason that I remembered this guy so if nothing else it was a good marketing ploy.
    It would want to be - his patent would have cost a fair bit.
    So was his coffee any good?

  21. #21
    Junior Member sparhawk817's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    2
    Hey, so my uncle owns a hydroponic shop and is a coffee lover, if I were to buy him a propose
    Prepotted tree an eBay, firstly, Arabica or kona? And secondly, what book is most highly recommended for growing coffee?

  22. #22
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Earth!
    Posts
    11,018
    FYI, Kona is not a species of coffee as is Arabica. It is an origin of coffee beans as is Columbia, Ethiopia, and Kenya. However rather than being the name of the country where the beans were grown it is the name of an island in Hawaii where coffee is grown.


    Java "Maui Yemen anyone? phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

  23. #23
    Junior Member sparhawk817's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    2
    This is exactly why I am here! Thank you. I'm working on motorizing a hand burr grinder for him.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mornington Peninsula VIC
    Posts
    887
    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile View Post
    FYI, Kona is not a species of coffee as is Arabica. It is an origin of coffee beans as is Columbia, Ethiopia, and Kenya. However rather than being the name of the country where the beans were grown it is the name of an island in Hawaii where coffee is grown.


    Java "Maui Yemen anyone? phile
    And... Columbia isn't a country either... but Colombia is.
    chokkidog likes this.

  25. #25
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    1,376
    Quote Originally Posted by sparhawk817 View Post
    what book is most highly recommended for growing coffee?
    Welcome to CS, sh!!

    None that I know of but there's plenty of info on the net.

    Also other threads on CS

    Keep us posted of their progress!!

    https://www.google.com.au/search?cli...B6qN8QeWooGICg

    Sick coffee bean trees.....

  26. #26
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mornington Peninsula VIC
    Posts
    887
    That reminds me... I have a wild coffee tree growing behind my roastery. I've been meaning to bring this up on the forum before but keep forgetting to. I can only assume that one of the coffee beans has somehow ended up back there and has somehow germinated and taken off. It is now a metre+ tall and very healthy and vibrant and is still actively sprouting new foliage in spite of the fact that it is the middle of winter here in Victoria. Now... the question I have is, how is this even possible? How did one of my coffee beans end up becoming a healthy and very vibrant coffee tree... aren't processed coffee beans theoretically inert and incapable of germinating?

  27. #27
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    PRL
    Posts
    1,297
    Tooth fairy?

  28. #28
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Earth!
    Posts
    11,018
    Quote Originally Posted by Vinitasse View Post
    Now... the question I have is, how is this even possible? How did one of my coffee beans end up becoming a healthy and very vibrant coffee tree... aren't processed coffee beans theoretically inert and incapable of germinating?
    A gift from your local friendly civet!


    Java "Beware cats bearing gifts!" phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

  29. #29
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mornington Peninsula VIC
    Posts
    887
    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile View Post
    A gift from your local friendly civet!


    Java "Beware cats bearing gifts!" phile
    Very cute... but seriously... the question is: Is it possible for a processed coffee bean to germinate? Anyone?

  30. #30
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    10,459
    Why do you think it's not possible?
    What part of the processing would kill the bean?

    They fruit is deseeded. The seeds are washed and dried.
    All quite harmless I think.

  31. #31
    Senior Member GrahamK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Ormiston - Brisbane
    Posts
    395
    I was under the impression, possibly wrongly, that they were all irradiated or something by requirement of Oz customs to remove dodgy bugs & things, and that it left them impotent so to speak?

    I had also tried to germinate some with no success, wheris I have had success with local grown ones.

    G

  32. #32
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mornington Peninsula VIC
    Posts
    887
    In any event, there is a really healthy coffee tree growing behind my roastery now. At first I was shocked that it could live through a Victorian winter but the weather here probably isn't too different to what you would find at 1200 metres altitude on the side of a mountain in real coffee country.
    I'm curious... is there anyone out there capable of identifying the varietal if I posted pics of this mystery tree?

  33. #33
    Senior Member smokey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    299
    Quote Originally Posted by Vinitasse View Post
    Very cute... but seriously... the question is: Is it possible for a processed coffee bean to germinate? Anyone?
    Vini, I think imported beans are irradiated, the customs web site lists:-raw/green coffee beans:- as one of the 'prohibited' products it will remove if found in the mail. I imagine that if it is imported then some form of treatment, either chemical or gamma radiation, would be needed to satisfy quarantine requirements.

    It looks like your magic bean either escaped treatment or it was a 'Hand of God' act like Maradona's in the 1986 world cup.

    http://www.bradford.adelaide.edu.au/...canti_mail.pdf

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ccNkksrfls

  34. #34
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mornington Peninsula VIC
    Posts
    887
    I'm hoping it turns out to be one of Ethiopia's heirloom varietals... that would be more than awesome. Just need to find someone who can tell me one way or the other as I wouldn't have a clue.
    chokkidog likes this.

  35. #35
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    1,376
    Quote Originally Posted by Vinitasse View Post
    That reminds me... I have a wild coffee tree growing behind my roastery. I've been meaning to bring this up on the forum before but keep forgetting to. I can only assume that one of the coffee beans has somehow ended up back there and has somehow germinated and taken off. It is now a metre+ tall and very healthy and vibrant and is still actively sprouting new foliage in spite of the fact that it is the middle of winter here in Victoria. Now... the question I have is, how is this even possible? How did one of my coffee beans end up becoming a healthy and very vibrant coffee tree... aren't processed coffee beans theoretically inert and incapable of germinating?
    From the Sweet Maria's site:

    "The green coffee we sell for home roasting is a processed (de-hulled) dried seed. For all the processing entails (from wet-milling, depulping, drying, stripping the parchment, and even polishing sometimes) the embryo that makes this a "live" seed is often intact. It is located at one end of the seed lengthwise, near the crease.

    You can test this by soaking 20 seeds in an inch of water overnight: in 12-24 hours you should see the embryo emerge from about 5-8 seeds. This appears as a white protrusion about 1/8" long from the end of the seed."

    Looks like you struck a live one Vinitasse!! :-D

  36. #36
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    1,376
    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamK View Post
    I was under the impression, possibly wrongly, that they were all irradiated or something by requirement of Oz customs to remove dodgy bugs & things, and that it left them impotent so to speak?
    ahhh .......... so that explains it!! ;-D

  37. #37
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    865
    Quote Originally Posted by chokkidog View Post
    From the Sweet Maria's site:

    "The green coffee we sell for home roasting is a processed (de-hulled) dried seed. For all the processing entails (from wet-milling, depulping, drying, stripping the parchment, and even polishing sometimes) the embryo that makes this a "live" seed is often intact. It is located at one end of the seed lengthwise, near the crease.

    You can test this by soaking 20 seeds in an inch of water overnight: in 12-24 hours you should see the embryo emerge from about 5-8 seeds. This appears as a white protrusion about 1/8" long from the end of the seed."

    Looks like you struck a live one Vinitasse!! :-D
    I tried this once with some Yemen, with no effect. Hadn't considered it might have been irradiated. :|

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •