I promised Jon Galloway that I would send him some “geek acres” coffee. I thought I’d write a post about growing and processing coffee as a hobby…

Step 1: Live on the Big Island of Hawaii

Step 2: Have some coffee trees


Step 3: Pick the cherry by hand (better yet, have your wife do the picking):


Kona coffee has to be hand-picked, as our trees are a little more delicate than some and because the cherry comes ripe at different times. So you might visit the same tree three or four times over the course of a season.


Sadly-no-longer-possible-step: Transport the cherry from the trees to the house using a pack animal


(Oh what a beautiful dog she was…)

Step 3: Depulp the cherry


Step 4: Ferment the inner shell for 24 hours in order to remove the sticky mucilage


Step 5: Dry the seeds on window screens for several weeks until they become “parchment”


Step 6: Remove the parchment


6a — separate the chaff from the green by using a hair blower and a colander

Step 7: Program your coffee roaster using custom roasting curves perfected over the years

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Step 8: Take a whiff…


And that’s how you can avoid paying $2 for a cup of coffee at Charbucks!

8 thoughts on “Coffee

  1. I don’t know what price coffee in Charbucks is in the US, but here in London a typical menu choice is closer to 4 USD.

    Though I don’t believe Charbucks is actually for people who like coffee, but rather for folks who want flavoured sugar soup and like to pretend it’s coffee.

  2. Once, my brother, and friend and I were in Viñales, Cuba, staying with an old couple who rented out a couple of rooms in their house to tourists. We noticed some beans on a mat outside and asked them what they were. The couple got very excited and explained that they grew, harvested, prepared, roasted, ground and brewed their own coffee. We loved this idea, so we got them to show us each of the stages, which they did with relish. I suspect that no previous guest had ever asked them about their little coffee enterprise.

    That night at supper, they served us the special “red chicken”, the code for langoustine, which is not supposed to be sold in restaurants. The meal was delicious, a relative judgement given that almost all food in Cuba is completely inedible, and we looked forward to our cup of home produced coffee.

    The old lady brought us a tray with three steaming cups on it. We prepared ourselves for a quasi-religious experience.

    As we took the first sip, it became obvious that we were in for a real challenge. How to prevent grimaces from appearing on our faces? How to actually swallow the repulsively bitter and mulch-tasting liquid?

    I have no idea which of your steps they hadn’t followed, but it was, without question, the most acrid substance I’ve ever had in my mouth. It’s one of the big disappointments of my life, because I’d have loved the story to be “the best cup of coffee I ever had was made for me by a little crone in Viñales…”

    Geek Acres looks fantastic.

  3. Great post! I am so jealous though – I do my own roasting but this is taking the experience to a whole new level.

  4. Being one of the lucky ones who has gotten to appreciate a cup Geek Acres brew, I love guided tour!

    And I *love* the name Charbucks — I tend to roast a little lighter than they do, too. Let’s me appreciate the bean a bit more.

    BTW – I’m getting ready to make a Sweet Maria’s run sometime soon. Contact me at my last name if you need anything!

  5. Aloha Larry,

    Arrived at your blog this morning through that discussion of social media marketing at David Shapiro’s blog. Anyway, it has been fun to peruse your blog. Until now I had just seen your blog’s title at the FBI blogs bit — perhaps even thinking, “Hmm, Is this where I go to find out about the afterlife or some other presumptuous blather?” Heh, I might have even thought, “Now NOTKNOWING.NET.. that’s where I tend to hang out..very navigable..”

    Anyway, cool site. I can see that a little more reading might be, educational. I’m over on the wetter side in Mt. View growing a little coffee too. I knock myself out with the labor, and well, for the cup or two that I pull off, which may or may not be good, I have to chuckle at my process: it involves mostly about what you seem to do ‘cept I tend to dry it for a much shorter time. Several weeks in your case? dang, over here that is A LOT of dry, if ya dig. And yet, if that will improve my efforts.. Also, that seems like a nifty small-kine roaster. Where did you score that? I’ve been on the air-popper method and I think my popper has pooped out.

    Happy cuppin’


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