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Yes, you can grow your own coffee beans in Vancouver

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Bertrand plucks them by hand as they turn red and squeezes out the two, sometimes three, green beans in the sweet fruit surrounding them.

“They taste like a cherry, only the pits are bigger,” he said.

He dried them on the warm top of the coffee pot in his shop to try to approximate the warmth of the sun of the tropical countries where they are normally grown. Once they’re all harvested and dried, Bertrand will have them roasted and “probably a pot of coffee” by his coffee supplier, JJ Bean.

“I don’t think I can get half a pound (roasted coffee beans),” he said. And he doesn’t know what taste to expect. “I don’t even know the genre.”

West Coast Gardens in Surrey is promoting a 4-inch coffee plant, the coffea arabica, which is considered tropical (though it hasn’t had one in stock recently). It suggests protecting the plant from freezing, and states that if it is kept at temperatures consistently below 18 ° C, it will not work well.

The tropical trees like to grow on hilly ground, in the shade with natural fog, cloud cover and wind protection, said Invermere’s Kicking Horse Coffee on its website.

Coffee plants are considered evergreen and can grow up to six meters tall if not pruned. Each tree produces half a kilogram to a full kilogram of cherries, or around 2,000 to 4,000 cherries. The harvesting machines pick between 100 and 400 cherries by hand every day. Half a kilogram of coffee would require around 2.5 kilograms of coffee beans.

“In a year, a coffee drinker with two cups a day will be using the annual harvest of 18 coffee trees,” said Kicking Horse.

Bertrand hopes to finish harvesting his cherries in the next few weeks when they ripen and will be excited to see if the flowers return in spring.

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