Home Processing – Home Roasting?

I have yet to harvest a crop from my homegrown coffee plants. But I did bring back some coffee cherry on a recent trip to Costa Rica, and after planting some, I had leftovers. What to do?

Well, why not wet-process the coffee?

This is coffee seeds after the skin is removed… in parchment, coated by mucilage.

I started by removing the seeds from the outer skin of the cherry and fermenting in a bowl with just a tad of water (I used non-chlorinated water to allow the fermentation to proceed unimpeded). Then I scrubbed the loosened mucilage off the coffee parchment layer and left it to dry for 30 days.

At that point, I had dry “pergamino” that was ready to remove from the parchment layer and roast


I did that using my high tech “rub your palms together” method (as I have seen many coffee farmers do with ease – it is NOT easy for a novice like me though.


Then I was ready to roast my bumper batch of .. what is that … something like 15 seeds???

Unfortunately, I found it tough to roast 15 seeds. I started with the Freshroast but then switched to a Rosto.


Finally, I had an acceptable roast and ground the coffee to cup it. Why use the cupping technique? Because it wasn’t enough coffee for any conventional brew method!


Actually, it wasn’t even enough for cupping, which requires 8-10 grams. So I ended up with 1/2 a cupping cup. Hey, it worked… (Picture shows the coffee in the first 2 minutes, before “breaking the crust”)

The results – actually, it was really good! This was La Minita of the arabica cultivar caturra and had decidedly more “fruitiness” to it than a true La Minita coffee. But I liked it. It was not fermenty tasting, as I anticipated (since my fermentation lasted 72 hours! The normal fermentation at a wet mill is 18-22 hours or so.)

I can’t wait for my trees at home to produce!

-Tom 4/16/04





This page is authored by Tom Owen and Sweet Maria’s Coffee, Inc. and is not to be copied or reproduced without permission.




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