Saturday, September 27, 2014

Africa 29: Have You Ever Seen Where They Actually Grow Starbucks Coffee?

It turns out the area around Karatu Village has soil that is perfect for growing coffee.

Large coffee plantations, mostly owned by foreigners, dot the landscape here.
We walked through this one, owned by a German fellow, which our guide claimed was coffee destined for Starbucks.
Coffee begins its life as berries growing on coffee bushes.  The berries turn from green to bright red when ripe.

This coffee is hand picked, as only the red berries can be taken.  Green berries are left on the bush until they, too, ripen into a bright red color.

When the outer husk is peeled away, we see that it contained two beans.
From the Starbucks field, we moved on to a smaller, locally owned, organic operation.

Here the freshly hulled beans are being hand roasted over an open fire the old fashion way.

It takes about 45 minutes.

When the roasting is complete.  The hot beans are poured on to a wire mesh.

The beans are then sifted across the screen, removing the last layer of hull.
This little movie shows the sifting process.

To recap, green berries turn red.  Red berries are picked and hulled.  Hulled berries split into two halves, which are then roasted, and the last layer of outer hull removed by sifting.

We had to bring some of this local organic coffee home.  Wow, what a treat.

Next time, we visit a Masai tribal village.

 Continue on to Post 30: A Maasai Village Tries to Balance Tradition with Modern Realities, by clicking here.


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