October is our favourite month. Our farmers get super busy reaping the fruits of their patience, hard work & secret whisperings to their plants!
Bec, John & the Zentveld's Coffee Estate team have been busily harvesting, sorting & processing their spring crop of coffee cherries. They have moved on from hand-picking in the early days to using a very gentle giant in the form of a three-wheeled harvester. As you can imagine, so much quicker & easier, as it straddles the rows of coffee trees, fibreglass rods spinning like enormous bottle brushes with just enough pressure to pick the softer ripe fruit, leaving the ones not quite ready for another day. Harvest from beginning to end takes a total of around 3 weeks - such a small window in a year.
From the crop, the team sorts the beans into the over-ripe "Naturals", the greens from the ripe red cherries.
The Naturals are popped into the dryer, to let their raisin-like, spicy fruit cake notes to enter the green bean.
The ripe red cherries will get pulped - the fruit skins are composted along with the green fruit that inevitably gets picked up as well. The skins end up as compost, ‘waste’ feeding & enriching the soil to yield yet another crop!
What we love about our artisans is their total commitment to zero waste - everything gets reused, one way or another.
The raw naked beans are washed, spin dried until their moisture content is 11%, taking around 36 hours.
We call this life stage of the dried bean, parchment coffee, as the shell is like paper, protecting the raw green bean within to be loaded into bags & stored for 3 months – flavours within the coffee bean develop & naturally become more complex & interesting (think wine-making but sped up).
Finally the parchment coffee will be hulled, graded and sorted to give us our precious green bean raw coffee … ready to be discovered by Bec & her connoisseur nose & artistry to roast.
The hulled papery shell is is composted or mulched back into the farm to nurture our wonderful worms and build natural, organic soil matter.
YES! A lot goes into getting that sweet bean into our morning cups!
Discover the full range of beautiful Bec's artisan local blends here - the discerning coffee drinker will taste all the delicate notes as per the descriptions & those who just love coffee for coffee's kick & flavour will also detect how much sweeter & smoother our locally grown coffee is. Due to the cooler subtropical climate in the Northern Rivers NSW, our beans take longer to ripen, and as most agree, good things take time, patience and buckets of love ... enjoy our artisan coffee & thank you for supporting local farmers & communities!