How to grow coffee at home – step by step guide
Growing coffee beans should usually start with freshly picked coffee cherries. At Impact Roasters we are so lucky to have the full grown coffee tree in one of our roasteries. Our biggest coffee tree is at least 20 years old and produces coffee cherries.
Having a coffee producing tree at our roastery is very useful when we teach people about the coffee plants, coffee production, and processing of coffee, which makes it easier to understand and appreciate the work involved in producing coffee.
Starting the germination of a coffee plant from freshly picked coffee cherries is the quickest way with a high probability of success. It is also possible to start from the fresh green beans that are imported from the origin, but from our experience, in that case, green coffee beans need to be with parchments (the inner shell) otherwise the hulled and polished green coffee beans would not be able to germinate.
In the following blog section, we are following the germination and growth of the coffee plant from both freshly picked coffee cherries and the green parchment coffee beans from Ethiopia.
Step by Step Guide:
How to germinate and grow coffee beans from coffee cherries/ parchment coffee beans:
1. Collect the red coffee cherries
Only ripe coffee cherries should be picked from the tree.
2. Remove the beans from the cherry
The pulp (fruit) of the berries is removed by hand or by squeezing beans out of the cherry. There you will find two seeds (beans) of coffee. At this point, the coffee beans are still in parchment (shell).
This Step is the same process for both coffee beans from freshly picked coffee cherries or green parchment coffee beans.
3. Remove the beans from the parchment (shell)
4. Put the coffee beans into the water for 24- 48 hours.
In this period the leftover of the pulp and parchment starts fragmenting. Remove any floating beans - this is an indication that the bean is damaged or rotten.
5. Remove the parchment and the last silver skin.
7. Place all beans on a paper towel or cotton pads in a plastic container and cover them with another paper towel and make it moist.
8. Cover or close the plastic container and place it at the room temperature.
9. Keep the paper towels moist, and in 2-3 weeks the roots will develop, and beans will be ready to be planted in the soil.
10. Choosing soil can be crucial for the success of the growth of the coffee beans.
From our experience, the best soil to use is coconut fiber soil or any weed-free, nutrient-poor soils.
Small coffee bean sprouts do not need a lot of nutrients to get well started.
Push the soil together so that it is firm but not tight.
Give the soil a little dug and put the coffee beans sprouts. Afterward, make a soil slightly moist by adding a little water.
The rule of thumb is that the depth of the hole should be 3 times the size of the seed.
Do not plant too deep as it makes it harder for especially small seeds to come up.