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Coffee in Zambia is harvested between April and September. The coffee is handpicked ripe and then transferred to wet factory, where the berries are pulped. A fermentation process is used to remove pulp around the bean (washed coffee) and then coffee is dried for 10-12 days until the moisture of the parchment is around 13.5%. The Parchment is then stored in bags for 4-6 weeks to let the coffee mature. Pulped natural (or honeyed, semi-washed) coffee is first pulped, and then dried in beds without fermentation. Fully naturally processed coffee (dry processed) is dried with skin without pulping. This in Zambia can be called mbuni coffee, and is generally considered lower quality. However, if drying is properly controlled this method can produce high quality coffee with sweeter taste notes.
After coffee has matured in parchment form coffee goes to dry milling where the parchment is hulled to remove dry skin, polished (optional) to remove silver skin and cleaned and graded. Screens of various sizes are used for grading, in Zambia our specialty grades are AAA, AA, AB and Peaberry. Lower grades are sold separately.
We cup all the coffees from the farm after processing and select the coffees we use in our blends. We now also have specially chosen lovely peaberry available at our roastery and selected retailers.
Roasting coffee transforms the chemical and physical properties of green coffee beans into beautifully aromatic roasted coffee. The roasting process is what produces the characteristic flavor of coffee by causing the green coffee beans to expand and to change in color, taste, smell, and density. Unroasted beans contain similar acids, protein, and caffeine as those that have been roasted, but lack the amazing taste.
Our roaster operates at temperatures between 200-220°C, and beans are roasted for a period of 12-15 minutes. Initially, the process is endothermic (absorbing heat), but at around 175°C it becomes exothermic (giving off heat). At the end of the roasting beans are offloaded from roaster and cooled with air. We pack the coffee to foil packaging with aroma valve, which lets the gas coffee beans reliese after roasting out, but does not let oxygen in.
GRINDING & BREWING
However you choose to prepare for coffee, the best result is achieved by grinding the coffee freshly just before brewing. So do invest in grinder (if you do love your coffee). Choose the grind according to brewing method, finer for espresso, medium for filtered and coarser for French press. If this gets confusing do contact us, we are always happy to help.
Once opened store the coffee in foil bag in airtight container in room temperature (or if you have cold room, this will do in Zambian hot season too). You can freeze the beans, but not the ground coffee.