Saturday, January 28, 2012

First coffee fermented, and more has arrived!

After processing our first coffee at the beneficio last night, we barely had time to grab a couple hours of sleep before getting back to it this morning. There was coffee to be processed, and Pastor Bernardo had another 2,000 lb of coffee cherries that he picked today!

We put discarded coffee pulp from Pastor Bernardo's coffee
 into the vermiculture, which will turn into La Union's first
 large-scale available organic fertilizer in a matter of months
We started at 6 am by checking on the coffee that we depulped last evening. It was looking great, but needed the rest of the day to finish fermenting. With a new coffee coming this evening, it was no time to relax and reflect—there was much work to be done! We started by moving all of the coffee pulp into the vermiculture, where it will start composting into organic fertilizer. We then refilled our upper water tank with water for today’s processing, washed all of the tanks, adjusted the depulping machine, and it was time to go again!

Pastor Bernardo arrived at 4 pm, and we were ready. We checked each sack of coffee cherries for quality and began loading it for processing. The coffee he brought us yesterday was done fermenting at 4:10 pm. Over fermenting coffee by even 30 minutes can damage its quality,  so we washed it, sent it through the correteo to sort it, and moved it back into the tank to soak overnight. (Sorry, no pictures here—it was all hands on deck to ensure that this coffee was washed at the same time as we received and depulped the coffee that Pastor brought us today).

Bernardo Ponce and son see their coffee for the first time,
as UMF employee Patrick Hughes shows them its
progress during fermentation

Things went more smoothly today, and we were finished depulping shortly after dark. We will be back out by sunrise tomorrow morning to move Pastor Bernardo’s first coffee from soaking tanks into solar dryers, prepare to wash the coffee he brought us today, move coffee pulp, and continue making adjustments to the beneficio. As always, check back soon for more updates—coffee will be going into solar dryers tomorrow!


  1. I wonder how fermented coffee tastes like. I am a coffee addict but I noticed that my teeth is becoming stained so I just drink hot chocolate instead.

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