Mine still have a few years to get there yet.
Guess what! Finally after a couple of years Im currently drinking down my first cup of fully home grown coffee. How exciting!
Firstly, it tastes way better than I thought it would.. I was actually so disappointed with my crop, processing and roast that I didnt even bother taking any pictures, which now I think is an absolute shame - since its my first crop and all.. Damn it why didnt I just take some!! fwar!!
The taste is a bit rough, its definitely no heuheutenango but hey the sense of achievement is great.. its slightly toffee-cocoa-caramel like, with a rough hard-to-describe flavour thats probably come from basically being a fairly poor crop and dodgy processing. It doesnt have much on the sweet palette and has a bit of a sharp dry finish. Its still quite nice though.
Im really pleased with myself hey ::) haha.
Its so much fun. Picking the cherries was fun, even for the kids, my daughter helped me deseed some of them, and they both help me sort the bad from the good (floaters and sinkers); the drying was a real pain and I couldnt get them dry enough.. I left them sitting around in the sun for as long as I could, but got lazy and ended up brining them inside after a couple of weeks, to sit next to the window sill.
After a couple of months they still looked a bit too moist, too dark in colour and the edges were ever so slightly transluscent.. so after some reading online I decided to dry them in the oven at 40 degrees C.. I think I did that for about 4 hours.. It seemed to help, so again I left them on the window sill for a fair few weeks..
All up I only had about 160gms, my bigger tree actually lost almost all of the cherries for some reason, not sure, they just all rotted or split - I think we had too much rain actually, and our soil is heavy clay!
Because I pan roast, the 160gms was (I thought) not quite enough to do a roast in the pan.. so I decided to just roast them in the convection oven (that was a first as well!!!).. It went supprisingly well with the temperature controls helping quite a bit (compared to roasting in the pan with no idea of temp!).
Even though the roast went okay, they smelt so strange! I left them for a week wondering whether or not I should drink them etc.. in the end, I ground them up and thats when I really went "woah this has actually worked!".. they had a very pungent aroma, still with that hint of weirdness.. sort of like the Peru Segunda Naturals - remember them? They were left to dry on the trees before being picked, and they had a strange undescribable smell and flavour.
So here I am, the cups empty and .. yeah Im very pleased with the result. I know some other CSrs have trees too so I give yas the thumbs up, maybe they can post their descriptions on this thread too?
The cycle is just about to start again too, yesterday my bigger trees first buds started opening up, revealing their beautiful jasmin/frangipani smelling flowers. mmmmMMMMMmm!!! bring it on ;D
Mine still have a few years to get there yet.
Oh? How many years do you have to wait?
Trees can start cropping at 3 years old and fully at 5 IIRC.
Mine are about 18 months old now.
Yeee, I think mine are roughly 3years old, they cropped a pittiful amound at about 2 years.. ;)
Must be a great feeling to have done everything from go to o. Well done R. Maybe one day ill do it too.
Well done Rolley ! Top effort that ! Must be such a sense of acheivement.!
I too, am keen as mustard to sample my first fully own grown cup of coffee, however im finding it a little hard to get info on the harvest/ferment/drying steps in the cycle..... (Theres plenty on roasting !)
I currently have a only about 3 trees, which are around 4 years old, and one is absolutely chock-a-block fully loaded with ripe red berries as we speak. I desperately want to go picking , but without the right info on what to do straight away with the berries, it would seem a shame to waste them with the wrong method...
Any links or info you can share with me ...?
Try http://www2.dpi.qld.gov.au/horticulture/5471.html for some how to info.
THanks so much ! Thats a great help !
Hey Rod, go nuts and start picking!!
The DPI site Mal_R posted is one Ive read too, theres tons of little helpful things out there like that.. I didnt do the fermentation process at all though, as Ive read that not all processing methods use it, its more for the wet processing method, where as I went almost the full sundried process.
Dont let your cherries go to waste, as I learnt it doesnt really matter if you stuff it up because once youve cupped your first grind youll still feel really proud, no matter how dodgy it is! haha.
As a quick summary this is all I did:
- picked the ripe ones every day or two
- sorted the bad ones out in a bucket (the floaters)
- popped the seeds out on to a big glass table in the backyard (pulping process)
I didnt keep them all together either because the ones Id picked a week earlier for example were drier sooner than the ones more recently picked. So basically I had a whole heap of separate piles on the table.
When the mucilage had dried off and I was left with a hard crunchy parchment layer, I simply cracked all it all off with my hands.. pressing on the table was the easiest way. I only did this because I had such a small crop, and I was pretty much cracking the parchment off say 15 seeds at a time. If youve got more and want to get the parchment off a whole heap at once, a food processor with plastic thingies (sort of like the ones you have to kneed bread) is good so Ive heard. Aparently it works quite well but I havent tried it.
Anyway after that I just basically left the seeds around in the sun as much as possible for weeeeeeks, maybe even a couple of months. It wasnt quite enough so I topped it off in the convection oven for half a dozen hours at 40 degrees.
There was heaps of silverskin still on them, so I put them in a huge colander before I roasted them, and sort of crushed them all up and around with my hands.. it got a lot of the silverskin off, the rest came off in the roast as chaff.
So yeah, I reckon you should just go for it, dont hold back and dont worry about wasting your crop! Your crops will theoretically increase each year as your trees grow (up to a point anyway) so you might as well take advantage of them now so you can get it downpat for when they produce their best.
Let me know how you go!!!!
Ive got a handfull from the last crop unfortunatly I lost a lot more due to not paying attention. Over the last 2 weeks the tree has been covered in flowers so hopefully this crop should give me a fair bit... fingers crossed.
Good to here yours worked out Rolley hopefully you get more this year!!