On Sunday 22nd July, a small group gathered at the Administrators residence for the first tasting of Christmas Island produced coffee.
The Mintope program supported by the Mine, Murdoch and Commonwealth have been growing Coffee for 4 years now and the oldest plants are now in production. The site for these trees is a spent mine site with only a very shallow covering of the remaining soil having been spread to cover the karstic rocky limestone layer. This year we harvested about 10 litres of fresh seed and over the period of 2 months we have cleaned and prepared them, a time consuming operation which requires removing the flesh, drying, removing the “parchment” layer, drying again and roasting. Without expensive purpose built equipment to do this, a food processor with a plastic blade and a $15 popcorn maker was used. A bit over 1 kilogram of roasted beans was produced.
With Mark Bennett and Paul Griggs doing the barista work, the consensus was that the coffee was actually pretty good. Some preferred the lighter mild roast while others liked the darker “bold” roast.
Over 150 trees are now established and even the younger ones are just coming into full flower for next year’s crop. This means that the 2019 harvest will be several times bigger and a much larger group can be invited to the next tasting ceremony!