Did you know that coffee can grow in Southern California? Turns out there’s the perfect little microclimate out in Goleta for such things. Last August, I had the opportunity to tour the beautiful Good Land Organics Farm and harvest coffee cherries. Along the way, we also visited passionfruit vines, dragonfruit, flowering cherimoya, finger limes and more.
Finger lime and passionfruit samples to try before the tour.
Finger Limes for days
Green passionfruit or lilikoi waiting to turn purple
Coffee blossoms. They smell amazing and make a wonderful iced tea. The amount of caffeine they may or may not contain has not yet been measured, but the farmers do think there is some.
Coffee cherries. The darker they are means they are more ripe and ready to go. The outside of the cherry is edible with what we know as the “bean” being inside the red fruit. Depending on the cultivar or coffee, the cherries vary in sweetness and flavor. These tasted like sugary bell peppers.
My personal yield, plus a passionfruit I picked up from the ground.
Sorting cherries and weighing them out. Prepping to go into the machine that strips the fruit from the bean, so they can get ready for fermentation.
Separating the fruit from the bean
Coffee is then fermented, washed and dried. It will also ultimately need to be roasted to become the beloved drink adored by so many.
It was a fun and interesting experience visiting this farm. I left with a bag of their Geisha coffee, passionfruit, a coffee plant for my home (that is still doing quite well) and a sack of finger limes. If you are into coffee and in Southern California, I highly suggest taking this tour. These amazing farmers will take you step by step through the coffee process, from the growing aspect, the uses for the flowers, to harvesting the cherries yourself, prepping them for fermentation and drying. Snacks of farm fresh fruit and baked goods are provided, plus plenty of coffee. 🙂