Varietals Experiment: Year Two (Part 2 - Weighing and Categorization)

    All four of the coffee varietals were harvested the morning of December 6, 2011.

    From the morning’s pick, six sacs had been collected from each of the Pacamara, Red Bourbon, and Yellow Bourbon plots, while three were gathered of the Kenya. 

    Workers then gathered in the small clearing near the entrance of lot #1, which is named El Pamero at Finca El Manzano, to sort the cherries. In this process any unripe cherries are sorted out of the coffee sacs, leaving only the ripened cherries for processing. (Beneficio El Manzano does not process unripes, and channel any unripe beans delivered to another mill for processing). By 1 pm, all the cherries had been sorted and bagged, and were ready to be weighed.

    This process is overseen by the manager of the plantation, who takes the individual weight from every picker, before compiling the cherries into sacs, to be taken for a total weight of the days cherries at the mill. 

    Once the cherries are weighed, they are picked up in trucks, and delivered to the mill, at which point a sample is taken for every different varietal delivered from a plantation. In this case, four different, 200 gram samples were taken, one from each of the different varietals. With this sample, a grade is given to the cherries. This grade is based on the quality of cherries, and consists of eight categories that the cherries can be divided into. This grade helps the mill to determine and measure the quality of cherry from each plantation, and thereby gives insight into final cup quality, as well as  assistance in determining which coffees are able to be blended with others. 

    Grades consist of a AA, A, B, and C. All but the Yellow Bourbon received a grade of B, while it received an A. After the cherries are categorized, they are brought to the de-pulping station for processing.