For processing, the coffee cherry is firstly selectively handpicked during the harvest months spanning from December to April. Once picked, cherries are then sorted according to maturity, removing by hand any cherries that are over or under-ripe, as well as any foreign bodies such as sticks and stones. Each afternoon, the ten sorted coffee is collected and transported to the central wet mill in Jacaltenango. Once there, the cherries are pulped, before being placed into vats to begin the fermentation process; usually for an average of 36 hours depending on the ambient temperature. Once complete, the coffee is then washed and laid out to dry for 10-12 days on patios, until optimum humidity is reached. Once dried, coffee is stored in its parchment in the warehouse. When the coffee is seen to be sufficiently rested, the bags are transported to Guatemala City to be drying milled, ready for export.
Natural Liquid CO2 Decaffeination: The raw, unroasted coffee is moistened with water and put into a vessel where it is brought into contact with pressurised, liquid carbon dioxide. By circulation through the coffee, the carbon dioxide draws the caffeine out of the bean. In an evaporator, the caffeine precipitates out from the CO2 which, after evaporation and re-condensation, is pumped again into the vessel containing the coffee for a new cycle. When the required residual caffeine level is reached, the CO2 circulation is stopped, and the coffee is discharged into a drier where it is gently dried until it reaches the original moisture content. The coffee is then ready for roasting.