Learning to pulp coffee in Waku

Following on from last week's coffee training in Deusa, Hari Kumar Kharki, our EcoHimal project officer has been in Waku to train 35 farmers on how to use a coffee pulping machine. He sent us these photos from his workshop on Wednesday:

   Learning the importance of sifting out any dirt, foliage and unripe coffee cherries from the harvest. The red coffee cherries you can see here were picked the day before, the red fruity layer is actually very tasty to eat - a juicy, coffee flavoured snack. 

Learning the importance of sifting out any dirt, foliage and unripe coffee cherries from the harvest. The red coffee cherries you can see here were picked the day before, the red fruity layer is actually very tasty to eat - a juicy, coffee flavoured snack. 

   Next the coffee is fed into a hand turned pulping machine.     The beans are stripped of their red fruity skin as they pass through the machine. This was the first time these farmers have ever used a pulping machine.       It is easy to underestimate the difference the pulping machines have had. Previously farmers had to pulp by hand. This meant handling each bean individually, a tedious process of peeling the fruit off - one bean at a time. Thanks to these simple pulping machines, a job that used to take a whole afternoon, can now be done in a few minutes. 

Next the coffee is fed into a hand turned pulping machine. The beans are stripped of their red fruity skin as they pass through the machine. This was the first time these farmers have ever used a pulping machine.

It is easy to underestimate the difference the pulping machines have had. Previously farmers had to pulp by hand. This meant handling each bean individually, a tedious process of peeling the fruit off - one bean at a time. Thanks to these simple pulping machines, a job that used to take a whole afternoon, can now be done in a few minutes. 

   After pulping, we are left with 'parchment', this is coffee that has had its skin removed, but still has a thin layer protecting the interior green coffee bean. The parchment is wet, so is left out to dry for a few days to lower its moisture content. Once dry, the parchment has a hard shell, this protects the green coffee bean inside keeping it fresh for many months if necessary.       This parchment, once dry, will be carried in sacks to  Deusa AFRC.  Through our partners, EcoHimal, the coffee is then transported to Kathmandu to be sold to coffee traders. From there it will find its way to roasting houses in Australia and New Zealand.   

After pulping, we are left with 'parchment', this is coffee that has had its skin removed, but still has a thin layer protecting the interior green coffee bean. The parchment is wet, so is left out to dry for a few days to lower its moisture content. Once dry, the parchment has a hard shell, this protects the green coffee bean inside keeping it fresh for many months if necessary.

This parchment, once dry, will be carried in sacks to Deusa AFRC. Through our partners, EcoHimal, the coffee is then transported to Kathmandu to be sold to coffee traders. From there it will find its way to roasting houses in Australia and New Zealand.   

   Hari Kumar Kharki (right of picture, wearing white ceremonial scarves) with farmers in Waku, January 31st 2018. 

Hari Kumar Kharki (right of picture, wearing white ceremonial scarves) with farmers in Waku, January 31st 2018. 

How you can help

The pulping machine seen here is one of six that your donations enabled us to buy in 2017. They are shared by farmers who carry them from hamlet to hamlet during the harvest season. They are hand turned, so no need for fuel or electricity and no CO2 emissions. They are also very sturdy and easy to maintain, the farmers love them.

As coffee growing spreads into Waku, we need to provide six more machines. Your donations are vital to this. Each pulping machine costs £360. Make a monthly donation of £30 to buy a coffee pulping machine for Waku.