The coffee mill or, "beneficio" in Spanish, is the place where the coffee cherry is transformed into the hard coffee green beans that are sent around the world to roasters. The Janson brothers ensure that at each step this beneficio respects the qualities that make a great estate coffee.


Since beans of various sizes, water content, and density lead to varying flavors and quality, the process at the Cafe Volcan Baru Beneficio focuses on selecting only the ideal size, density, and humidity for the La Torcaza Estate coffee beans.


Unlike many coffee farms that are hours away from the processing facility or beneficio, La Torcaza Estate is only a fifteen minute tractor ride away from the Cafe Volcan Baru Beneficio. This reduces the chances that the cherries are harmed prior to processing.

Once at the beneficio, traditional processing methods rather than new technologies ensure that the beans are gently and effectively selected. Under the watchful eyes of craft people, the beans are depulped from the coffee cherry and classified by density as they float in fresh spring water. The lighter beans float while the denser, more developed beans sink slowly At the end of the channels, there are small tanks for three classifications from that batch of coffee. An experienced craft person manages the flow of the beans into the different tanks.

To gently remove the mucilage, the Janson brothers have chosen the old, traditional method of fermenting the beans in the small tanks up to 36 hours. The coffee beans are then washed by hand in a smaller water channel.

Each classification of clean beans is spread out separately in open-air patios to be gently sun-dried for several days. There the beans (protected by their hull or golden parchment) are raked to expose them evenly to the mountain sunlight. From the patios, the coffee beans are collected and dried at low temperatures to ensure that they have the right humidity. The beans are then aged in bags for a minimum of 90 days to allow them to develop their smooth and balanced flavor. This period is known as the 'reposo' and is similar to the aging of wine in oak casks. These age-old steps to develop the coffee's refinement are seldom used in other coffees.

Most beneficios are trying to automate and mechanize the different processing steps. Machines are being used to replace sun drying and the fermentation process. These commercial methods do not compare with the traditional steps in preparing a specialty coffee.


Once ready for export, the beans are hulled to remove the golden parchment or hull which surrounds the beans. The green beans are then sorted by size, and again by density to ensure ideal uniformity. The final step is hand selection - a step rarely undertaken due to high costs. Still, the Janson brothers insist on hand selecting and removing those beans that look defected in color and shape to ensure a coffee purity that no machine can reproduce. The fact that La Torcaza Estate is hand selected at least twice distinguishes it as one of the world's most rigorously selected and cleanest tasting coffees.


Before the coffee is exported, coffee samples are roasted and cupped on the farm to make sure that they represent the quality that is La Torcaza Estate. This "cupping" test is a systematic coffee tasting method reminiscent of wine tastings. Once they pass the cupping tests, the bagged green beans begin their journey to select roasters around the world.

Touch here to follow the coffee cycle.



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