I’ve grow up with a few coffee plants in our farm just for our consumption. Our house sits on 5 acres land. On a third of that my dad planted coffee and cacao (cocoa) plants. Well of course at that time I never really appreciate the coffee.
I tried to help my parents harvest the coffee. Its kind of hard work though. After harvesting we would put the coffee in a big mortar and pestle and work on that ( it helps to strengthen the muscles). Then we would put it on a tarp and try to dry it under the sun. It probably takes a few days. Then its ready to be roasted. I would watch my dad roast the coffee. It takes a long time because he will roast the whole coffee that we harvest, it could be like 5 kilos and also for fire we are using firewood. So it takes forever. When time to get the chafe (skin of the beans) off so that the coffee will be clean and ready to be ground, my mom would use a large flat basket (Bilao in tagalog, Nigo in bisaya) and clean there. To use the bilao you have to be expert do it. It amazes me how the coffee beans and the chafe really separated from it. I’ve been watching my mom do it since I was a child and I never can do the way she does. Never learned from it, in short.
My favorite things that I liked to harvest were the cacao because me and my cousins like to chew the cacao and spit out the seeds for the cocoa (I know for some people it sounds gross, because chewing the seed and spitting it out for cocoa it doesn’t sound appetizing though), sorry guys but at the end it taste good though. Really the procedure on achieving the cocoa is just similar to the coffee. The only thing to grind the cocoa it’s much harder and muscle straining. For us it is because we are using the grinder manually. My gosh I can remember me and my cousins we are sweating to death on it. But we like it afterward because my mom makes a good cocoa with good puto or suman (sweet rice wrapped in banana leaf). Yummy.
Lately Bob’s been into coffee thing. While watching him roasting the coffee I really remember those years in our farm. The only thing its much easier for him to work on it now. I mean the green beans are ready for him to roast since it arrived in our house cleaned already. Then to roast we have nice pot and the stove is there ready for him to use. Then when the time comes to take the chafe off he will put the beans in the strainer and put the fan underneath and turn on and it will just blew the chafe off then. It sounds easy but still a hard work for Bob to do. I enjoyed watching him roasting the coffee. It just amazed me how the hard work involved in roasting the coffee. I do help him sometimes. Since I help drink it too.
We’ve been tasting coffee from all over the world. Different countries and different continents. The good thing while drinking the coffee we are also learning the place where it came from. It’s amazing really. He ordered the green beans from the US that have been grown all over the world. I wished my dad could be here and see how Bob works on roasting, I’m pretty sure he would enjoy watching Bob and help Bob drink the coffee too.
My Dad just had one kind of coffee just the arabica. I think my siblings that came here to the house and tasted the coffee were enticed again to grow more coffee at the farm even though its not good compared to what Bob’s been ordering.
At least better than the instant coffee.