Here at Konaloha Farm we use the wet method for processing our coffee. Once the ripe cherry is brought in from the day's picking the outer layer is mechanically scrubbed/ pulped off. The beans are then fermented overnight in water to remove the mucilage ( the sticky substance felt around the beans after pulping). Early the next morning they are rinsed and moved to the drying deck where they are hand raked frequently for 10-14 days until the moisture content is about 10%. Once dried, the beans are then bagged and sent to the dry mill for final milling and grading. After dry milling the beans can be stored in burlap sacks and are ready for roasting.
Most gourmet coffees are wet milled. The wet processing allows for the separation and discarding of defective beans by flotation several times throughout the process.
Processing photos were taken at Makahiki Farms and Aloha Hills
A coffee orchard requires at least three to fours years of maintenance before a significant crop can be harvested. The Konaloha Coffee Farm was planted in 2001 and has since produced several quality crops.
The coffee beans are the seeds of the ripe fruit, which are called cherries due to their bright red color. The beans usually grow two "halves" to a cherry. The beans are covered by several protective layers; a silver skin, parchment, a layer of sticky mucilage, fleshy fruit pulp, and finally the outer skin. Once harvested, the coffee beans must be quickly processed in order to control enzymatic reactions that affect the flavor of the coffee.
One of the distinguishable differences of Kona Coffee is that it is hand pick to ensure that only the ripe red "cherries" are harvested as opposed to the more cost effective mechanical harvesting that picks even the unripened fruit.