Saturday, January 25, 2014

Coffee Berries.....

About 6 years ago, I thought it would be fun to purchase some coffee plants.  We both love coffee, like, seriously like coffee.  Coffee has become one of our hobbies.  A friend from the neighborhood shared that she had a coffee roaster and it opened up a huge realm of possibilities.  We now have a coffee roaster, pounds of green beans, a big fancy grinder and of course, the coffee plants.

So, I got these plants.  I think I ordered two of them, but really, I got like 12 little sprigs of plants.  They were nice foliage and I have a great sunroom (when the oak trees don't shade it) so they were able to stay completely climate controlled.  Over these last six years they have grown tremendously and the plants now occupy three large 25 gallon pots.

Last May, we got our first blooms.

Pretty little things, aren't they?  The scent was sweet, really sweet.  Not as pervasive as a lemon tree (which I also have), but it could have been because there are fewer blooms.  We had a few fruits set.  I wasn't looking for a lot, because I didn't want to tax the plant, but I couldn't help but get excited when we had a solid 20-30 berries set across about 3 of the plants.

Fast forward seven months.  It's JANUARY.  STILL NOTHING.  These green berries done nothing for seven months.  I was starting to think they were never going to ripen.  I figured that the inside of a house in the frigid north was just not going to do it.

And then....

We have ripening.....  About January 10th I noticed the first signs of something changing.  At first I thought it was the berries dying (they were yellowing slightly).  But no - they were changing to red!

So today, I actually picked a berry.  At least one of them had that firm but squishy feeling that I associate with ripe fruit. 

Inside the berry, I was rewarded with two green beans!

So, I'm off to figure out how to process the beans.  The green beans have a coating on them - I associate it kind of like tomato seeds - it's kind of firm and slippery.  I believe I need to get that coating off.  I know with tomato seeds you ferment the seeds to remove the coating.  We may have enough to get a half of a cup of coffee, but it's been fun!  And, it's one step closer to knowing where our food comes from and being able to sustain my coffee habit in case of the zombie apocalypse.