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Specialty Coffee_Original version

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Good Land Organics

on 12 February 2016

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Transcript of Specialty Coffee_Original version

Developing partnerships: SCAA, UC Davis, UC Cooperative Extension Program - San Luis Obispo, CA

Brand development and market research
Science forward experiments: post-harvest craft
Focus on improving our quality and achieving the highest specialty grade scores possible
Improving efficiencies
Specialty Coffee:
When: Spring to Fall
Where: Frost-free environments
Coffee varieties
13 varieties have been part of a trial, all of which have qualified for Specialty Grade (80+ pts).
Cost of Production
5 year old tree:
20 lbs of cherry
1:8 ratio cherry to green bean
2 lbs green bean per tree*

$14.30 picking cost/tree
$3.50 pruning
$3.00 nutrient application
$3.20 water cost
What we're looking for in a grower
Seasoned Growers (org. and conv.)
Property: frost free zone, low pH (<7.2)
Growers with a diversification plan
Passion for coffee

Who is our market?
coffea Arabica -
short statured
A Promising New Crop for
Coastal and Southern California

Mark Gaskell,
Farm Advisor
University of California Cooperative Extension - San Luis Obispo County

Jay Ruskey,
Farmer, Owner
Good Land Organics
California Coffee Growers

Lindsey Mesta
, Operations Manager
Good Land Organics
Certified Q Grader, California Coffee Growers

Coffee as a small farm enterprise?
Key challenges:
Growing the plant vs coffee as a business
Hand labor
Processing questions - scale vs efficiency
Marketing and economics
Conceptual questions:

Mild temperatures to establish
Most root activity in top 8-12"; tap-root but not deep with California moisture regime.
Sphagnum in hole at planting?
Sulfur for some acidification
Mulching for moisture, weeds?
Avocado leaf litter

Growing the plant:
Frost free growing sites
Careful planting
pH too high? – watch micro-nutrient deficiency
acidify root zone with sphagnum and sulfur
Consistent moisture
heat units affect growth, bean quality
Cupping scores
Production management
coffea Arabica -
tall statured
Coffee flowering
and fruit initiation
Flowering season: May - September
90% self pollinating
Occurs on 2nd year lateral branches

Coffee interplanting with avocados

Light is critical
Crop layout: coffee interplanted with avocados
*layout depends on existing avocado orchard

Water Management

Coffee bean fill and overall quality is directly affected when plants are water stressed.
Shallow rooted; has tap root not deep with CA water regime
New planting needs dedicated micro-sprinkler system
5 year-old coffee may need 20-25 gallons per plant per week - plus leaching for salt management
Inter-planted may eventually use the same system as avos with little increase in water requirement.
Coffee fertilization
California soils and water quite different from most coffee growing areas
higher pH > nutrient deficiency
often higher salinity
lower rainfall, humidity
lower temperature?

Plants develop with many branches, little form
Vigorous in early years
Two growths types: vertical and lateral
Manage growth to optimize resources
Light, water, nutrient, labor
Annual pruning desirable
Renewal of verticals
Optimizing production / harvest
Many systems, variations, - early stages

The Farmers Perspective
Why did I get into this?
Filling in annual crop cycle
Layered permaculture
Shade loving
No soil prep 12" tall
The Vision
Good Land Organics

Ag layered systems
Soil type
Water use

Water usage and variability

Irrigation assumptions:
750 gallons per plant per year

water use
increases with:
full sun layout
sandy soils
high salts
low water
holding capacity
California Advantages:

Longer maturation times given our relative distance from the equator
Dry and cool
Good varieties
Post harvest

Provide trees
Production Support
Marketing of final product
Brand development
Post-harvest Optimization
Growing Program
Why did coffee fit my farm situation?
water use decreases with:
interplanted orchard
partial shade
clay soils
water holding capacity
Other sites we've planted
What have we learned from them?

Bean development
Slower fruit growth
Bean growth continuous, need to avoid interruptions
Cooler temperatures > slow the process
Denser bean translates to higher quality

Slower fruit growth
Need continuous moisture or "floaters" result
Long, slow filling period with adequate moisture and nutrients favors high bean quality
Manage cherry and seed development
Cultural practices affect cherry development
Post harvest processing critical for quality

Low density
Spacing: 6x8
Count: 2-3 trees per avo
Population: 200-300 trees per acre
High Density
Spacing: 6x8
Count: 2-3 trees between avos
*Additional row of coffee between avo row
Population: 500-700 per acre
Build soil levels to optimum and then fertilize regularly to replace nutrients in harvested crop and optimize availability
Organic and conventional options
Interplanted with avos - can utilize recycled nutrients in the orchard
Gibson Ranch,
Carpinteria, CA

Pikes Ranch
Santa Barbara, CA
Shanley Farms,
Morro Bay, CA
Oceanside, Ca

San Diego, CA
How do we handle
this crop?
What we are doing now
Future of California Coffee
Timeline: coffee's post-harvest
Harvest - only when ripe

Cherry pulping - within 12 hours of harvest

Fermenting - "washed" process, usually 1 day

Drying - monitored daily until balanced

"Reposo"- 2-3 month curing phase

Packaging - green until roasted or sold
Spacing often depends on current avo spacing
Following initial establishment
Little change with nutrient or water
Pruning of avos
How is coffee
evaluated for quality?
<80pts not specialty
80 - 84.9 "good"
85-89.9 "excellent"
90-100 "outstanding"
How Good Land Organics has done
Boot Coffee
Good Land Organics
Cupping Sessions Sept 12, 2014 and Sept 11, 2014
Geisha 4/2014
Jasmin background notes, berry, floral. Rose, classic sweet geisha flavor, honey. Honey, rose

Caturra 7/2014
Floral, lemon, grapefruit, rose, Watermelon, quiet rose, infused flavor, delicate acidity, slight watery mouthfeel, slight drying

Geisha 8/2013
Floral (rose), mild lavender, subtle forest flower, Sweet, floral Roasted nuts, chocolate, slight, rose and jasmin aftertaste


Caturra type
post harvest craft
timeline of quality
measuring results
Full sun
Spacing: 6x8
Population: ~900 trees per acre
$20-24 production cost/lb*
*all prices are variable

Our Coffee Program
Cuicateco 6/2014
Brazil nut, cherry, pepper, red fruit, piquant acidity, pomegranate

Mundo Novo 6/2014
Berry, floral, rose, red currant, phosphoric acidity, creamy body

Tekisic 6/2014
Berry, orange, cherry, leather, buttery mouthfeel

Leroy 6/2014
dark chocolate, slight malt, red fruit, grape juice




Boot Coffee
Good Land Organics
Cupping Sessions Sept 12, 2014 and Sept 11, 2014
UC Small Farm Conference, San Diego, CA
March 10, 2015

How do they differ?
Educated and curious
consumer with a motivation to buy local, organic, or California grown coffee at a premium.
Full transcript