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Drying

The day is hot and dry. The bright sunlight is harsh and you must protect your eyes, face and head with a wide hat. The sun shines mercifully in the middle of a cloudless blue sky and here there is no comfort as there are no refreshing shadows as you have in the plantations. You are standing in the middle of a wide expanse covered with clay tiles. All the tiles, however, are covered by a layer several centimeters tick of parchment coffee. These are the sun-drying patios.

Every day during harvesting season, when each batch of coffee is terminated, you obtain “parchment” coffee… soaking wet. If you leave the coffee as that, you will lose all your efforts.

The warm kiss of the sunlight helps you dry the coffee beans. You extend the mass of beans in a layers and rows along the patios and carefully move those using wooden instruments to allow for the sun´s energy to dry them slowly, keeping its quality.

The old foreman of the “Beneficio” told you that the best dryness is reached when you feel the coffee beans moving inside the parchment shell. If you friction the beans with the palms of your hands, the parchment must fall and the grains will have a blue-green color. Coffee with too much water will show a dull green color, coffee beans with too little water will have a whitish color.

So you keep on inspecting the coffee to assure that the process is done right. You people, using hats to protect them agins the sun and the heat keeps on moving the coffee all day and at the end of each day the coffee is protected with canvas. After about two weeks, each batch of coffee gets to the desired humidity and then you can bag and storage your coffee.