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Wholesale and retail coffee, London

From Source to Cup (Part 1)

RoMo Coffee's Blog

Find out what is happening in the world of coffee and follow Romo Coffee's blog. Articles include  how to make a great espresso, how a coffee bean is harvested and processed and how to spot good coffee shops.

From Source to Cup (Part 1)

Shiv Martin

We are due to open a new coffee shop and so we are looking for new coffees.  Shiv from the Romo team happened to be in Nicaragua which is home to some very good coffees indeed.  At Romo we like to know about our coffee and so we decided it would be a good idea for her to head to a coffee farm and share the information with our coffee loving customers.  As you may or may not know coffee needs to be grown at an altitude so she headed up to Mombacho – an extinct volcano that lies behind Granada.

Mombacho Volcano behind Granada, Nicaragua

Mombacho Volcano behind Granada, Nicaragua

 

On Mombabcho lies the finca of Café Las Flores.  Named because it has many beautiful flowers in the farm.  For over three generations this family run coffee farm have been cultivating coffee from start to finish.  Café Las Flores is Rainforest Alliance – all the water that they use in the process is collected from the volcano Mombacho.  It is in then filtered and used to ferment the coffee.

 

Flower at Cafe Las Flores coffee farm, Nicaragua

Flower at Cafe Las Flores coffee farm, Nicaragua

 

Have you ever thought about the process behind making coffee when you drink your daily cup?  After reading this blog you will begin to understand the length of time and the amount of work that goes into not only growing the cherries but also into preparing the beans for roasting.

 

Coffee beans drying at Cafe Las Flores, Mombacho, Nicaragua

Coffee beans drying at Cafe Las Flores, Mombacho, Nicaragua

 

To begin with the coffee plant must be kept in a nursery for 9 months.  After these nine months it is now ready to be planted.  However, it will have to wait another 2 years until it will start to produce the coffee cherries. One coffee plant will give on average 1lb of green coffee beans.   The season for harvesting in Nicaragua is from September through till February/March although when Shiv from Romo arrived on the farm at the end of January they had just finished picking the cherries. 

Coffee plant nursery, Cafe las Flores, Nicaragua

Coffee plant nursery, Cafe las Flores, Nicaragua

 

Coffee trees can grow very tall (almost to 15ft if not pruned) but this would make it difficult for the farmers to select the berries and so they have to ensure to keep them at a reasonable height (normally at about 5ft).  You will find in all coffee farms that other plants grow amongst the coffee plants, these will often be citrus trees such as orange or lemon trees.  The reason for this is to encourage the birds and monkeys to eat the other fruits and to leave the coffee cherries alone.  These trees must be cared for all year round to ensure they do not have any rust or defects.

Coffee plants at Cafe las Flores, Mombacho, Nicaragua

Coffee plants at Cafe las Flores, Mombacho, Nicaragua

 

There are three types of coffee cherries; green, yellow and red.  The red and yellow cherries have no difference in taste.  The green coffee beans are used for lower grade coffee. 

 

The red cherry normally has two coffee beans and the yellow cherry only has one bean.    If you peel a coffee cherry the beans are coated in a sugar like paste which tastes sweet.

Peeled coffee cherries.

Peeled coffee cherries.

So after 2 years and nine months of looking after a coffee plant you can finally start to cultivate some coffee beans.  Luckily the coffee plants normally live for 25 years.  

This is just the beginning of how you get your coffee every morning.  In the next post we will be explaining how the cherries are prepared into the beans, which will then go on to be roasted so that your barista can make your lovely cup of coffee.

We hope you found this post interesting, if you would like to see more photos please visit our facebook page.  

Or for more information on Cafe las Flores visit http://cafelasflores.com/ 

All the best,

The Romo Team!

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