Want to grow your own coffee?
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Growing Coffee: Full sun to part shade
Originating in Ethiopia, the medium to large sized evergreen shrub grows to approximately 4 to 5 metres high and around 2 metres in width. Very hardy plant likes sun or dappled shade. Keep well watered and fertalise regularly, especially after flowering. Your coffee plant will grow best at temperatures of around 15 to 40 degrees celcius. Traditionally they are grown at altitudes above 5000feet but we have successfully grown plants at Byron Bay NSW, located at sea level. Since moving our business back to Canberra, its back to indoor coffee growing again.
Transplanting Coffee Plant
If you would like to plant your coffee plant in the ground, select a position where the coffee plant has lots of room to grow. Dig a hole twice the size of the existing pot, wet the hole. Carefully remove the plant from the pot and position in the hole. Fill the remaining space with good quality soil, preferably well composted, lush soil. Water well for the first few days to help your new plant settle in to it’s new home.
Note: Coffee plants are not frost hardy. If you live in an area where the temperature gets below 10 degrees celceous we recommend you move the plants indoors. They grow slower, and generally not as tall, but they will stay alive. Coffee plants respond well to a trim every couple of years. Avoid trimming in flowering season.
Time to Flower
When the plant is around 3 years old, you will be treated with a wonderful show of Jasmine scented white flowers. Each flower only lasts a day or two and then they fall off. Now the coffee bean will start to form and grow.
The green coffee beans will begin to form and after approximately 8 months the green coffee beans will change to a magnificent glossy red colour.
Time to pick and process your coffee cherries. There are 5 layers in a coffee bean. The first layer is the red outer skin, which can be peeled off by hand or eaten like a flesh of a ripe, juicy cherry. Like real cherries, we don’t eat the pip, in this case the pip is the coffee bean. It is fresh and sweet to taste. The skins you don’t eat can simply be composted.
The next layer is the slimy clear muselage. This is removed by soaking the cherry in fresh water for 2 to three days. Once the beans have been soaking the muselage just wipes off. Now it is time to dry the pale creamy coloured coffee bean.
After the beans have dried, you can dehusk, remove the next layer of the coffee bean. If doing by hand, simply peal off and compost the husks. Now the green beans are ready for roasting.
Time to Roast!
Roast the coffee beans in your iRoaster (click here to order your own). During the roasting phase, the 4th layer of the coffee bean falls off and becomes “chaff” this chaff can be disposed of in your compost. Now you are left with the golden jewel… coffee, ready to grind, cold or hot brew, coat in chocolate and eat as a treat or crush and use in cooking. Ah, the simple pleasures in life.
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