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A Kenyan Coffee Bean’s Journey from Tree to Cup

December 30, 2011

If you think a coffee bean has an easy go of it, you might want to watch a fun fast-paced video on the production of some Kenyan beans. Produced by a Norwegian roaster with Charles Mingus jazz fusion music in the background, the short film gives a reason for why we need to pay more for quality coffee. The Tekangu Coop Society provided the labor shown in the film. The first step is the selective picking of the beans by hand, a laborious process. After the under and over-ripe cherries are sorted out by hand, the beans go through a de-pulping with floater removal. A dry fermentation process is used, taking from 24 to 48 hours. The only machinery used is during the washing step, where floaters and mucilage is removed from the parchment. Soaking and drying tale another week or two. Then coffee is stored in conditioning bins for up to a month to balance moisture content. Before a sample is roasted, brewed and cupped, the beans are sorted again a final time to remove defective beans. It was very evident from the film that two resources are critical. Water was used in great amounts in several stages of production. The human labor element involved people in every stage, making it clear how much personal attention is given to the beans. The Kenyan farm depicted here demonstrated hand processed practices with little automation. Though the beans go through a lot, the personal attention given them results in real quality in the cup. Click on the image above to access the video.






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