Friday, 29 February 2008

What Goes Into a Cuppa Joe

Every wonder why coffee is so expensive?

First, you have your coffee trees.

Replacement trees of various sizes....

The coffee beans in various stages of readiness. Note the green beans as well as the different shades of red.

The beans are picked by hand into the basket shown here. Several passes through the trees are done to pick the beans as they ripen. A really good bean picker (that means he/she is fast and picks clean with no leaves, sticks or green beans) will be paid about 1,000 colones (~$2) a basket. The average picker can pick 6 - 7 baskets a day.

The beans are then put in the hopper of a machine that separates the casing from the beans themselves.

The red hopper in the picure above is on the top of the picture toward the left and the roller in the picture that follows is lower toward the right.

This machine takes the casing off the beans and separates the two.

Here the beans and casings go their separate ways. The casings wind up as compost for the trees.

These are the beans 'newly released' from the casing.

The beans are then placed on racks to dry

Once dry, the beans are place in another machine where they are separated from the inner lining, or parchment.

The parchment is either used as compost or turned into paper that is made into bags in which the beans are sold.

The coffee is roasted.......
cooled and then quickly packaged to preserve the aroma.
And sold to the tourists as well as being shipped to other markets.

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