Coffee harvesting at Don Vitaliano Merino

Saturday Minga August 24, 2019

The goal of our minga last Saturday, was to harvest 1 quintal (45kg) of coffee cherries. In Sangre de toro (Red, ripe). To prepare a micro-batch of special coffee, double fermentation, of unique origin. There where a total 9 people helping with the collection of ripe cherries. Later on those same coffee beans will be transformed into coffee and sold at Tipikas Coffee in Zamora.

The climate change of the last 12 months is visible. There was a lot of winter, too much rainfall, compared to the previous years. That impacted the production volume in negative. And it also delayed the harvest. There is a visible presence in the leaves of iron excess (orange leaves) and nitrogen (fallen leaves). Well, we had a presence of rain during the whole coffee cherry picking activity.

While we harvested the ripe coffee cherries from the selected pink bourbon plot, we figured that it works to have good communication in each group of coffee pickers. So that small and very important details can be improved which help gain more value in a single-origin coffee. For example not having the stem in the cherry, overripe grains, with good cherries, leaves either, green grains, yellow-red varieties cannot be mixed and the plant or branch cannot be broken either.

Basic Farm Information:

Finca la Victoria, Inbana, Production Family: Don Vitaliano Merino

  • Location: 3 hours from the city of Loja in Zamora-Chinchipe
  • Climate: Humid tropical montane forest, 1750 m.s.n.m
  • Coffee: 8 hectares, 20’000 plants, coffee varieties: Pink Bourbon, Osidra, Tipica, Caturra, Catuai
  • African bees: Active honey production
  • Other fruit and crops: sugar cane, Lemon, Mandarin, Granadilla, Raspberry, Pineapple, Quince, Blackberry, Morera, Aracacha and vegetables in the garden. Like laurel, Chinese potato, sango, potatoes and sweet potato.
  • Flowering trees: Avocado, Soursop, Arayan, Guabo, Sungana, Guayacan, Raft, Lumas and Peaks.

Antioxidants

Did you know that one of the benefits of coffee beans is that they contain an antioxidant called chlorogenic acid (CGA) in addition to other antioxidants?

Raw beans contain roughly 9% CGA by weight, which can help with weight loss and is a neuroprotectant. Coffee beans also help reduce inflammation, which is associated with a number of health concerns. In addition, the caffeine in coffee beans provides benefits such as reducing headaches.

Understanding these health benefits can help coffee-drinkers appreciate more than just the taste of their next cup of java.

Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

By drinking caffeinated coffee, without sweetener, on a regular basis, one can potentially reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The reduced risk is associated with drinking multiple cups, as many as six a day. It is believed that the antioxidants, such as CGA, found in coffee beans are at least partially responsible for these lower rates. According to some studies, CGA may even help keep insulin levels even.

Whole Coffee Process

The entire coffee production will be explained in another future blog article. In the meantime you can have a look at this infographic which does the job pretty well too IMHO.

Infographic: Journey of the bean
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