One morning on my last visit, I went out with Bernardo and his sons as they picked ripe, deep-red coffee beans from their trees, as they prepared to dry them in the sun and then de-husk them.
I had never seen the process before in its entirety; it’s SO far from factory coffee it still seems a bit shocking.
They run it through a press that looks like its from the industrial revolution, all hand cranked, no motors, and wash it as the beans fall through. They use a plastic bucket with water they’ve collected.
They then lay out the beans in what looks like garden beds, and dry it with the hot Nicaraguan sun.
When it’s time to roast, they have a man-sized mortar and pestle and de-husk it.
For their families, they toast it in a pan over their open cooking fire.
For more, they use the barrel/earth oven that The Friends Project helped them build.
Transforming it from toasted aromatic bean to delicious coffee is another post, so stay tuned — and for a recipe to make your own, “cowboy style.”
Spoiler: Lots of sugar!