A day at the coffee plantation: from seed to cup of coffee


A day at the coffee plantation: from seed to cup of coffee

In this post, we will take you to Finca Accasia in Colombia, where coffee has been grown for seventy years. It takes no less than four years before coffee can be harvested after the seed has been planted. You can read how this long process works in this blog.

Finca Accasia, Colombia

Finca Accasia is located in  Salento, Colombia. The farm is close to the equator at 1,700 m altitude, ideal for growing coffee plants. In addition to coffee, various tropical fruits are also grown, such as passion fruit, mango and guava.

Growing coffee plants

It all starts with the seed or the coffee bean. These beans must be planted very fresh, otherwise they will not germinate and there is therefore no question of a coffee plant. After germination, the young plants remain well protected against the sun, rain and animals.

Before the plants are removed from their protected environment and planted in the field, they have to grow in pots for several months. Plastic bags are often used for this. When the plants are large enough, they are planted in the field.

Here they have to grow for quite some time before they can be harvested. They are usually put on a slope. This ensures good drainage and prevents diseases in the soil. In addition, the plant also likes to be in the shade and they are shielded from the sun for most of the day.

After four years, the first small white flowers appear on the plant. Each flower will later become a berry, also called the ‘cherry’ because of its red color that is reminiscent of cherries. After the flowers have fallen, green berries grow on the plant and continue to ripen until they turn a deep red color.

coffee cherries

The ‘cherries’ are picked by hand on this farm, but a machine could also be used. However, this method produces a lower quality coffee because berries are also picked that are not yet fully ripe.

Then the seeds must be separated from the berries by passing them through a special mill.

Processing coffee beans

There are a number of methods that can be used for processing the coffee beans and berries. The dry method (natural process) is the first method in which the berries are dried before separating them from the beans. This method gives a sweet and earthy taste.

The second method is the wet method (washed). The beans are ‘washed’ here, which generally gives a better quality and also some more acids come up. The latter method is applied on the farm.

Coffee can almost be made.

The coffee beans are then dried on large mats. Once they are dry, they are packed for export or sent to the coffee roaster. Most farms export their best coffee, but this farm only supplies to local coffee bars and for its own use.