For the Best Gardeners in the Cardiff Area

   Aug 25

Your Questions About Gardening

Thomas asks…

Why don’t coffee drinkers grow their own coffee?

I have always wondered coffee comes from the coffee plant but I have not seen it.
I want to grow my own coffee how do I go about doing this?

GardenersCardiff answers:

If you want good tasting coffee you need germinable arabica beans or else an plant, and then you need to live at high altitude in a hot climate, and typical coffee climates have extremely high rainfall (like 45 inches of rain per year). After the tree/bush has matured (~3-5 year), then every year the tree will produce ‘cherries’ – red berries with some pulp and inside are 2 coffee beans. Once the berries are ripe these berries have to be picked (or picked up) and processed to remove the red berry pulp and dry the beans. There are two methods to do that – a wet (fermenting) vs dry abrasion process. Then the beans have to be roasted (takes just 6-14 minutes) and can be accomplished in certain popcorn poppers (google home roast coffee) . It can take 500 beans to make a pot of coffee.

You can get coffee plants on amazon – that’s not the hard part.. You’ll probably need a little greenhouse type setup and a lot of patience.

Linda asks…

Which is better for processing coffee cherries; wet or dry?

I grow my own coffee plants, but have yet to actually ‘make’ coffee from them. Does someone else do this? I’m adept at roasting green beans, but want to know which method is better to process my own cherries to the green bean stage. By the original drying method or by the wet wash method?
I know drying takes longer, but does it produce a better end result?
ok, I know how the different processes work – that’s pretty simple to find online.
I just want to know how the beans differ after processing. Is there a difference in flavour or longevity? Does one version roast easier?
Has someone tried both methods and found they prefer one over the other; and why?
I don’t have a farm .. it’s just me and a giant bag of coffee cherries.

GardenersCardiff answers:

I’ve done this for years & have been told by MOST visitors that the sun dried is the best bean for roasting. The brine wash method is best for LONG TERM STORAGE ONLY!!

Sandy asks…

Would you ever attempt to grow your own?

coffee? I read that it can take up to six years for the plants to produce a harvest. I want to try it though, must be exciting, I just love coffee, how cool it would be growing my own coffee :) Has anyone here ever tried it?

GardenersCardiff answers:

You need a healthy tree at 8,000ft elevation, controlled humidity, with a reasonable amount of shade. Once your coffee plant is fully grown you need to give it 5 years to allow 5 harvests that will yield 1 pound of beans can be roasted.

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