I have a question what is the ratio of green beans to ground pounds? If I buy one pound of green beans, roast and grind do I have a pound of ground coffee? I''m sure it''s less but just wondering what the average ratio is?
When we're picking coffee here in Puerto Rico, we weigh the beans in 28# buckets. When all is said & done, that 28# (raw beans) turns into about 4# of roasted coffee!!! Every step, you lose around 20% in weight.
I just saw a show last night on the Discovery Channel called "Dirty Jobs". The guy was working on a coffee farm in Hawaii. He put in a few hours, picking the fruits off of the trees, the ones that were not yellow. He then went through the pulping and drying process. The green beans were bagged up in burlap sacks and taken to the roaster. The beans were roasted then taken to the coffee bar for grinding and brewing. All of this occurred on the farm. At the end of the day, he finally got to try a cup of coffee that he picked himself that morning. The lady who owned (or managed) the farm said the ratio of actual fruit picked to the final roasted coffee is 7 to 1.
I remembered this thread and thought this would be a nice entry. Fincalady is right on target with what I saw on the show.
I know you're attending an Expo in Boston today, I hope you are doing well and that you get lots of business contacts and plenty of free samples.
Regarding your posting about the television program on the Discovery Channel called "Dirty Jobs" when you wrote: "At the end of the day, he finally got to try a cup of coffee that he picked himself that morning." . . . .
It's hard to believe that the coffee the guy was drinking was from the beans he picked that morning. I've read that it takes several days minimum for the drying process in order to get the coffee beans from the coffee cherries. I also thought you're supposed to wait a day after roasting before grinding and brewing the coffee.
I wonder what the coffee tasted like, especially if it actually only had one day of processing.
It sounds like an interesting show. Thanks for sharing it.
Didn't see the Discovery Channel show....but I can offer this much info.....
Large coffee operations pulp & wash the beans quickly. They then dry the beans in BIG round open machines, with a rotating "mixer" arm continually stirring the beans, fire below. Drying time is approximately 12-24 hours, depending on how hot the fire is! DEFINITELY, this does not turn out the same product as hand-washed, sun-dried beans!
By comparison, (very small operation!), we pulp the beans & then allow them to ferment for a day or two in water before washing them. Makes for cleaner coffee and the cleaner the coffee comes out at this point, the better! Sun-drying then takes days - sometimes days & days & days - depending on the weather, the humidity, etc. True test when the beans are properly dry....bite a bean. If you can't bite into it, it's done.
We store the beans at that point with the parchment shell still in tact. Keeps the coffee fresh almost forever; no bug problems; the bean is still a viable seed in fact.
We only remove the parchment shell and roast when someone orders coffee from us.
Thanks for such a detailed description of your coffee bean processing operation. I am always amazed at all the steps that go into producing a good cup of coffee.
Now my "inquiring mind" just has to ask you...
You wrote ". . . when the beans are properly dry....bite a bean. If you can't bite into it, it's done. " I'm curious....do people actually try to bite the bean? Has any one lost a tooth in the process?
That's true Rose, about the drying and roasting time. Also, Fincalady, about the fermenting time. They must have wanted to present the entire process, from picking the fruit to brewing a cup of coffee, all in one day of filming. On the show, the guy never spends more than a day at any particular location.
Apparently, they must have used beans that had already gone through a few days of processing. Actually, it was somewhat disappointing to see his reaction after trying the coffee..... he just said something to the effect that he was tired after all of the work. He didn't mention if he liked the coffee or not. It was a tv show, but it was interesting to see the whole process summed up in one hour.
Rose, thanks for your interest in the food show that I attended yesterday. It was much smaller than previous years. Some of the exhibitors I spoke with mentioned that the space fees were so expensive and some were fortunate to combine their space with a second exhibitor to save on the cost.
Yes, there was plenty of food and drink sampled out. I tried my share of coffee and espressos. New England Coffee had the largest area, covering about four to six normal spaces. It was like walking into a coffee shop. I was most impressed by Rao's and Omar's Coffee. They had nice displays and samplings of their coffees. Rao's Costa Rican was my fave. I tried an espresso from an espresso machine manufacturer that wasn't that great. I almost didn't finish it. Maybe it was all the beer sampling (mostly porters and stouts) that I had enjoyed prior to the espresso though. I actually got asked for my i.d. at one of the brewer stations!
I'm pretty sure you meant to write 15%-20% weight loss.
Once the green coffee beans are roasted, and you weigh the roasted beans, you'll have the same weight when you grind them. Some people think you lose some more of the weight by grinding the beans. I've never seen that happen, unless you accidently spill some.