Well, I just came back from spending two weeks in Puerto Rico, checking up on how the coffee harvest is going. I have some amazing technicians working for me, but there’s nothing like being there in person to make sure things are going smoothly and all the data you think needs to be collected, is collected. After a few minor tweaks, I’m feeling really confident about the rest of the harvest and data collection.
So, what’s new to report? Well, the harvest is officially happening, and we’ve been able to collect many fruits from our farms. Of course, the same things that were happening last month are still happening, but we’re still able to collect some beans, which is better than nothing. I think we’ll have enough to be able to determine the effect of treatment (sun/shade and hand-pollinated/open-pollinated) on the quality of beans produced by Arabica and Robusta plants. I’m hoping we’ll be able to take it a step further, and also assess the effect of these treatments on the quality of the actual coffee produced, but we’ll see…we need a lot of coffee to make that happen!
In the mean time, we’re getting the beans ready for quality assessment through a wet-processing method. Since our harvest is happening on such a small scale, and we’re only harvesting the ripe berries, we have created a miniature wet-processing facility in our field house. It’s rustic, but it works!
Here are some images to show you what we’re doing.
It’s really exciting to have reached this stage of the processing. I was pretty worried when I went in September and saw so many damaged branches and berries. I’m feeling a bit more hopeful now!
Either way, I’m really enjoying this! How many people can say that they’ve processed their own coffee? I’m doubtful, but I’m hoping we’ll have enough so that I could even try a cup of our harvested coffee…wouldn’t that be nice? For now, I’ll just have to enjoy the coffee from the local cafes … here’s a pretty one from Clara’s cafe in Mayaguez 🙂