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What's Brewing

Wednesday, November 26, 2003 Milling About.

Wow. What a day. This morning we met up with Luis Monge, CooCafe's organic guy, an agronomist who specializes in organic certification. For CooCafe, he is the go to guy for everything to do with organic farming. Luis took us on a very interesting and informational tour of both the milling facilities: el beneficio seco (the dry mill) and el beneficio humedo (the wet mill).
These beneficios do all of the processing, from fruit to green bean ready for export. At the wet mill some preliminary quality control tests are done, the fruit and pulp is removed, the beans are left to ferment for 24 hours, then they are washed, dried, left to "rest" for two months and then sent off to the dry mill. The dry mill is very technologically sophisticated. This is where all of the sorting for quality, size, weight, and colour happens. One machine even has laser eyes and rejects beans that do not meet its colour standards. After all of this processing, the beans are ready for export. Quite a process. It represents the work of a great many people. And we have yet to really get to the start of it all--the fields.

The Beneficio Humedo (wet mill).
One of the men working at the dry mill.
One of the most important steps that happens at the dry mill is quality control. This dry mill has 4 separate stages of quality control. This machine is sorting on the basis of colour.

In the morning we leave on our first journey out into the fields. We will be in touch.
Pura Vida Meg C and Meg Fitz

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