Dixie Cup - From Cherries to Seeds
We got coffee cherries. Yes: fresh ones. How did we get them you ask? Well, we can leave story for a later time. But to give you some background, coffee cherries come from a coffee bush. It does take a while for a coffee plant to produce cherries, but you will find an aromatic white flower that will eventually produce cherries. Once the cherries become dark red you can pick them by hand and select what you would like to do: plant them and see the circle of life continue, or roast them and destroy life (horrible person you).
Since we do not have a roaster, we will simply support other businesses that destroy coffee fertility and choose to reproduce coffee plants ourselves. We prepared our coffee cherries by removing the fruity pulp from the seed. There are different methods you can use, but we simply squeezed the cherry until it split and we were able to remove the seed from the middle.
Once we removed the pulp, we dropped the seeds into water and let them sit for a few days. This did two things. First, if at any time the seeds floated, we would remove the seed. That is a sign they are unable to grow. And secondly, it helped remove the gummy exterior to the seed that was still there from the de-pulping. We did have one seed float which was a disappointment. However, I was amazed we only had one bad seed!
After the seeds were sufficiently fermented, we took them out and rinsed them off. Then we transported them into a dry container and let them sit for about a week. The aim is to let the seed dry out and get ready for planting. We found in our research that you need to get the seed down to about 20% moisture. Yes, your guess is as good as mine as to how to measure moisture levels in a seed. One website said we could bite into one of the seeds and find out. And by find out, the outer shell should be dry and hard but the inside should be moist (okay, soft…I just could not resist to use the word ‘moist’). The other method, which we attempted to follow, was to weigh the seeds right after de-pulping and then periodically throughout the week. It should be 20% of the weight when you want to begin your drying process.
That sort of made sense, so we went for it.