As we begin our journey of roasting our own coffee, Laura has been traveling the world, learning from the best coffee farmers. She spent time in Guatemala with a local coffee cooperative, working with the local farmer, Timo, who showed her the entire process - from picking the fruit off the plant, husking the seed, roasting over a fire, and finally grinding off a stone block for the freshest cup of coffee imaginable
The first step is to pick the coffee fruits from the shade grown plants. The farmer is responsible for maintaining, harvesting, and replanting their own plants every 3-4 years. A bright red color indicates that the fruit is ready to be harvested.
The second step is to remove the seed (which will later become what we know as the green bean) from the fruit casing. The fruit is quite tasty (she had a few as a treat!). Timo built a machine that removes the outer fruit layer from the inner seed, based on the mechanics of a bicycle.
The third step is to rinse and lay the seeds out to dry. Most Guatemalan farmers lay the seeds out on their roofs (pays to have year-round sunshine!) or in their backyards. Timo lays his seeds out behind his house.
After the beans have fully dried, the outer husk of the seed falls off, leaving you with the green bean. Timo and the Guatemalan farmers of the cooperative husk all their beans by hand. The husks go back into the land as fertilizer to make the next crop just as rich in flavor.
Then it's time to roast! Timo built an open-flame fire, and Laura had the opportunity to roast the beans over the fire. It was important that the beans stay moving continuously to avoid burning or over-roasting.
After the beans are roasted to your liking, it's time to grind. Timo hand grinds his beans on a stone disc and Laura learned this technique as well. She is very thankful for our automatic grinders!
The last and final step is to enjoy the freshest, farm-direct cup of coffee in the western hemisphere. This was truly a plant-to-cup experiencce, and we're excited to bring this approach to Skagit Valley.