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Bad Cofee Growing Enviroment?
Hi I'm new to the forums and have a few questions regarding coffee trees.
I've got around 100 coffee trees that have never been pruned or taken care of that are growing in a gulch. They are under a good amount of shade given from a canapoy of tall trees, and the coffee trees are around 15 feet tall on average. The elevation is around 600 feet. My (parents :) ) property is located on the Hamakua Coast, Paauilo to be specific. So far I've removed all the non coffee tree saplings and have left the avacado trees that provide the shade.
The conditions are rather hot, wet and humid. The soil appears to be really rich and black. It appears that the trees are mostly Arabica(tall and spindly) and maybe 4 or so of the Robusta.
Can I get good coffee from the trees because of my elevation and other conditions?
Edited by jm82792 on 01/04/2011 11:37 PM
Welcome to the forum. You've come to right place, if coffee roasting is your thing. This forum has a wealth of information on roasting, brewing, fabrication, electrical, et cetera... but coffee farming, not so much, I could be wrong though, we may have some friendly coffee farmers here among us.

However, there should be quite a bit of help right in your backyard, relatively speaking.
Just to get you started, contact one of these organizations. They are in the business of helping and promoting Hawaiian Coffee growers:
Hawaii Coffee Association http://www.hawaii.../index.php
Kona Coffee Farmers Association

And hey, why not read up on coffee seed processing and coffee roasting (if you haven't already). Pick a basket or two of the fruit, when its ripe, and find a way of making a hot beverage out of it. You might find you have some of the best coffee out there. If not, freshly roasted, poor quality coffee is still better than supermarket sludge.
100 trees should keep your friends and family caffeinated all year round!

Hi JM,
Very intrigued! Any more history on how these trees came to be? I'm curious about the multiple types in one location.
I concur with Jeremy, I'd make contact with the local economic development folks. Good luck with your endeavers. -Scott
From what I can tell since the land was lived on until the 70's then they tore the house down and the gulch has been dumped into for around 100 years the trees were unintentionally planted there.

I do know some people that own a coffee farm however I don't know them very well and thought maybe I could get some ideas from here.

My experience regarding the processing of coffee is very limited.
It has consisted of going to a few coffee trees in the neighborhood,
picking them then, removing the fruit, drying them, removing the shells(whatever it is called), then drying them some more, then finally pan roasting them.

Not the text book way of doing it.

However it worked but my roast came out rather dark, not at all burnt just dark....

I like the idea of having a micro-controller controlled roaster since I've messed around with the Arduino platform for fun in the past.

Well when I get the trees in shape and get some fruit out of them :)
Edited by jm82792 on 01/07/2011 1:34 AM
You are in the middle of the harvest, so get busy! We have the Uker's book "All About Coffee" online. It has a lot of information on coffee growing and harvesting.

Here's some factoids I found:

An arabica coffee tree can produce up to 12 pounds of coffee a year, depending on soil and climate.

Most coffee trees are pruned to 8 feet high to make harvesting easier.

It takes 2,000 coffee cherries to make a pound of roasted coffee.

No no harvest right now, there isn't much fruit on the trees correctly.
However where I live currently, 6 miles away from the property, the neighborhood trees are fruiting. This is probably because we have somewhat different micro-climate here.

I've read up on pruning and want to prune them soon,
however there is a lot of property work to do that my Dad won't let me put off to prune coffee.

The biggest issue I see is getting the fruit off of the coffee cherry), if I go dry processing or the other two methods.
As it is right now it takes far too long to process enough coffee for a cup :)

I take that back :)
In the past two weeks the trees are now fruiting.
Maybe it's a season with lag?

Currently I'm experimenting on how to process coffee quicker,
I really want to find a method that works so I can process a few pounds of coffee within a decent amount of time.
Then there is the whole thing about dry verses wet.
Are dry processed beans inferior to wet, or is it okay compared to wet?
Edited by jm82792 on 01/14/2011 1:21 AM
Here's a couple of helpful videos I came across:


You also might try a cherry pitter.

Edited by seedlings on 01/14/2011 8:15 AM
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
I've been doing roughly(minus fermentation, I've been pan roasting, and I've been using a dehydrator) what they have been doing however fermenting the fruit off of the beans would be a very helpful thing to integrate into my workflow. I'm not sure about a cherry pitter, it could work very well if it can remove the parchment.
The parchment in the end is the annoying part.
Because it is brittle when dry maybe some sort of rolling device could remove(crush it off) a good amount of it.


Just brewed some 50% arabica and 50% robusta mix.
What an interesting flavor, very sharp and I'm very buzzed from it.
Hit the second crack and then quickly cooled it off,
brewed it for around 5 minutes in a coffee press.
I'll try to get pictures of the trees and such soon,
I've been busy with stuff lately :(

They are ALL (mostly, I'll have to check each one) Robusta!
Ugh so strong, so punchy and so caffeinated.
I thought the young tress where Arabica..
Oh well I'll cut some down, leave some and plant a ton of Arabica Typica.
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