We have planted around 5000 plants this year and the end is in sight.
We were very nearly done a couple of weeks ago. Sadly, the plants were unavailable to finish, so we were left with 500 empty holes and no baby coffee to fill them.
Today, we secured the plants for the holes. They were grown by a fine nurseryman in Boquete, seen in the dapper straw hat. Although they were expensive they are beautiful plants. By the end of the week or maybe sometime next, we will be all done with planting for a another year.
Phew. That was quite a job.
Sorry for the delay this week everyone. Back sorting coffee for size and density. I want dense medium sized beans and I want them all the same. In other words, this is a quest for the most uniform batch of high density medium sized beans that I can get out of my coffee. Getting a bit obsessive about it. This is the second time I have put my coffee through different sorting machines.
Thought I was ready last week. Had already sorted once but my medium light roasts were not as even as I wanted. My roasting guru told me that I could get a better result if my beans were re-sorted. AGAIN.
I love the way I am doing this coffee. By involving folks from the cupping/roasting end in my farm there is no question I am getting a much better perspective of how to do things.
The beans had already been sorted once. Sometimes, when the machines are old the holes get bigger and they no longer work. Certainly, I was there and saw it being done and the beans definitely went through the machine. There were lots of people adjusting levers and watching the tubes....but apparently, not effective. This coffee business is much more complex than it seems.
No matter, off again to smaller beneficio where there is lots of owner involvement in the process and the process is done right to re-sort some coffee. We put the machines on a high European setting. This is more particular than settings required for American roasts apparently.
There are two machines. The first is a size sorter. The second sorts by density. The coffee that fails is still good coffee. It ends up in premium roasts in the USA. BUT it is not the best #1 grade. I now have a super good sorted #1 grade and a sack or two of other stuff I will probably dark roast. My dad likes his coffee very dark, so dark you can not really taste much other than the roast.
Now I am going to run with my uniform beans or at least as uniform as possible. I also had my peaberries separated which will be fun to use. Ready to roast over the weekend.