在世界咖啡地图里,看见齐心“啡”扬的赖比瑞亚家族 Putting specialty Liberica coffee & Johor in the world map!

[编辑 Editor 吕大人   英译 Translator 刘大人   摄影 Photographer 黄大人]

这一天,大人从新山开了近一个小时的车程,跟着 Jason (刘博乾,My Liberica Farm & Processing Mill 负责人) 所提供的 GPS 过了几个收费站再拐了个弯后,终于看见指示牌上写着往 Bukit Batu 的字眼,没一会儿又发现我们正要进入居銮的领地里,不禁开始担心是不是迷路了…不是要到古来武吉峇都吗?赶紧拨了通电话再三确认,啊~原来 My Liberica 的咖啡处理厂 (居銮边境) 与咖啡园 (古来边境) 两地正好处于交界处。大人终于有机会亲眼瞧见平日在新山 My Liberica Coffee 里所品尝的赖比瑞亚 Liberica 咖啡豆的生长园地啦!

【 大人小分享】咖啡豆大致可分为以下三大原种:阿拉比卡 Arabica,占全球产量约55%;罗巴斯塔 Robusta,占全球产量约45%;赖比瑞亚  Liberica,占全球产量约1%,生产国多供自销。

A collective sigh of relief was heaved when we finally came across the signage leading towards Bukit Batu, having passed through tolls after tolls. Before we knew it, our 1-hr long drive from JB has taken us to the border between Kulai and Kluang district, in search of a coffee farm and processing mill where My Liberica Coffee story all begin…

For the uninitiated, Liberica beans were originally found in Liberia in West Africa and then brought to Indonesia during the late 19th century, and are also grown in Malaysia and the Philippines. Surprise surprise, the Liberica bean only represents a mere 1% of total worldwide coffee production, with the majority being Arabica (55%) and Robusta (45%) varieties.

古来武吉峇都33哩咖啡果园 My Liberica Farm & Processing Mill

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大人之前所提及的 My Liberica Coffee,历经刘家兄弟数人的胼手胝足,一步一脚印冲破无尽难关,终于在本地精品咖啡市场上有了「从咖啡种植到制成一杯咖啡完全掌控的咖啡企业的鲜明定位。年前当咖啡馆的生意逐步上轨道后,因为对咖啡的最终风味有所坚持,「所谓100%的咖啡风味,其实是由几部分组成:咖啡种植70%、烘焙20%、冲泡10%。」于是,毕业于国立台大农艺系的大哥 Jason 毅然将生意转交由弟弟们打理,自己则选择回到园里与父亲栽培管理与处理咖啡以达全面掌控咖啡风味,而待会儿大人将拜访的咖啡处理厂也是父子们近年来挥汗逐步打造的新作,「我之所以能这么幸运回到园里培植与处理品质更好的咖啡豆,当然也是因几个弟弟们在咖啡馆里各有其专攻的岗位,加上父亲拥有的园地非常适合栽种咖啡,在种种几个有利的因素下,才能完成这项看似不可能的任务。」的确,放眼新山甚至整个马来西亚咖啡界,尚无任何人能将整个咖啡环节给如此紧密无缝地接应彼此,处于最终端的咖啡馆里若有什么反馈,Jason 第一时间即能查出源头问题、经了解后并作出迅速的反应,这一层天生利好的条件可不是任何一家咖啡馆所能拥有的啊!

万幸今天的天气极好,艳阳高照将绿叶衬托得出奇油亮,若是如前几日般碰上豪雨,就无法如愿入园了。虽说 Liberica 咖啡适合种植在平地上,但园地里始终不是一般车辆所能驾驭的泊油路,一路泥地颠簸,还是改乘 Jason 的四轮驱动车吧!这一大片占地50英亩、位处大电缆下的长形咖啡果园,在车里处于晃动中的大人也不免哇了一声,百闻不如一见!行驶至中途,车子突停了下来,原来是 Jason 遇见了正在处理草地的园地工人,「我们需定期清理杂草以免影响咖啡树原需的养料成分及之后的风味。」此时,我们一伙儿已走进咖啡树群中近距离接触咖啡果与咖啡花,眼前这棵与大人同等高度的咖啡树约有8至9年的成长期了,「咖啡树一般种植三年后即可结果。」再往内走,还能看见种植了十多年的咖啡树呢!

整个咖啡的生长季乃由此循环: 树->果->花->明年的果,看官们是否看见以有机肥所灌溉滋养的咖啡树枝节上长满了累累果实?绿色的果子尚未能采摘,较为鲜红的则为熟成的果子,树上偶尔也能瞧见数朵垂挂的白色咖啡花,「之前台湾的林东源老师访马时,也到我们这儿订购了一公斤的咖啡花。」这散发淡香的咖啡花可轻盈了,重达一公斤想必也颇可观啊!

My Liberica Coffee is the one and only specialty Liberica coffee bean producer in Malaysia, with the Liew family taking 100% full control from seed to cup, with their own coffee plantation and processing mill (70%), roastery (20%) and an in-house cafe (10%) that serves specialty Liberica coffee in Johor. On returning to JB having earned his agricultural degree from Taiwan National University, Jason began turning part of the family’s oil palm plantation into a 50-acre Liberica coffee plantation and was joined by his younger siblings upon their graduation to help take care of the marketing and overall operations, so that he can fully focus on the growing side of things.

The road leading into the plantation is only accessible by 4 wheel drive and therefore we were treated to a thrilling bouncy ride. Along the way, Jason explained his choice to grow Liberica because it is a lowland coffee varietal and thrives well in the slightly acidic soil in his farm. Moreover, the Liberian coffee beans can be harvested all year long, and the berries’ size is the largest compared to the other coffee species. In the normal plantation process which takes about 3 years , the ripe berries are hand picked and sent to the processing plant for the husk and fleshy part to be removed, then the beans extracted, dried, washed, and cleaned.

A coffee plant usually starts to produce flowers 3 years after it is planted, and it is from these white flowers that the fruits known as coffee cherries appear. The cherries ripen by changing colour from green to red, and it is at this time that they should be harvested. We vividly recalled from our earlier interview with Van Lin, world-renowned barista and founder of GaBee cafe that he actually visited the farm and brought back 1kg of coffee cherries back to Taiwan. WOW!

采收果实 Harvesting

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与刚刚大人参访的咖啡果园距离不远的咖啡处理厂,就位处居銮边境内,驶过一段极长的的泊油路后需再拐几个泥弯后才能瞧见久仰大名的目的地。占地22英亩的 My Liberica 咖啡处理厂大人这一回到访恰好碰上了每年两季的采摘收成期之一:11月中至2月;另一季则为5月至8月中,每年的收割季皆会有些许不同。眼前这一篮篮的果子就是刚由工人亲手采摘下的鲜红成熟 Liberica 咖啡浆果 (每一篮约45kg)。Jason 告诉我们,其他品种的咖啡每100公斤的产量即能处理约20kg的豆子,而号称魔鬼豆的 Liberica 只能处理7kg,由于每公斤的咖啡果约RM1,100kg约值RM100,而处理过的生豆每公斤市价约RM20,7kg的 Liberica 生豆可售RM140,这间中RM40的差价尚不足以支付员工的薪金与其它费用,咖啡种植业早已被视为一项本大于利的行业,有者被迫转种油棕以维持生计。

「这些果子在四天内一定得处理完毕,否则过后会脱水。」Jason 语毕便剥开了一颗拥有两颗种子的咖啡浆果让大人瞧瞧,「一般咖啡浆果中都会有两颗种子,惟有少数只有一颗(称之为圆豆) 或三颗(称之为多心豆)。」如图所见,种子被一层果胶层包覆着,约含24%的糖度,这同时也是果子狸们的最爱。大人凑近一闻,「有点红毛丹、山竹的滋味啊!」

We were lucky to visit the 22-acre processing mill during the harvesting season, once between November till February and the other from May to August. Looking at the reddish coloured Liberica coffee berries that are ripe for harvesting which we picked up from the baskets which weigh about 45kg each, we can imagine this to be a labour intensive exercise and involves most of the members of a family and hired labour. Compared to Liberica, Arabica is an early bearer which produces berries two years after transplanting. Generally, a full grown and well-managed farm can yield 20 kg of green beans for every 100 kg harvested, compared to only 7 kg for every 100 kg of Liberica beans. With the market price for unprocessed beans at RM1 per kg and RM20 per kg after processing, this means that a normal yield could fetch only RM140 which could barely cover the cost of their operations. By adding value and processing the coffee locally, Jason could ensure the quality of his beans, while remaining self-sustainable in the long run.

According to Jason, typically two beans are found within each berry (flat beans), but a genetic anomaly may occasionally causes one of the beans to be vestigal, resulting in a peaberry (single bean) or even triplets (three beans). On closer inspection, the berry sports a skin that wraps snugly around a thin layer of pulp, known as mucilage with a thin fleshy layer called parchment and taste mildly sweet (at approximately 24%), which probably explains why they are a favourite among the wild civet cats. We seriously thought the beans smelt and possibly taste like rambutan or mangosteen LOL!

果实分类与去皮 Pulped natural processing

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Jason 透露,目前 My Liberica 咖啡处理厂最常使用的咖啡果处理法为「蜜处理法 Pulped Natural」,蜜处理法也称半水洗法,去了果皮后保留果胶再进行日晒干燥,此种处理法耗水量相对减少。

摆在一篮篮咖啡浆果旁的就是果实分类与去皮的机器,为了减少机械伤害,必须先完成了果实大小分类后才会将之放入分为大刀与小刀的去皮机。由于咖啡浆果是种采摘后不会自行成熟的果实,只会逐渐烂透,因此强行采摘只会影响当季收成及提高成本。「成熟度不够的浆果若是硬拿去炒,也炒不熟,进了机器也很容易破碎成为碎豆。」

Currently used in My Liberica Farm where selective-picking is the norm, the Pulped Natural is a process where the skin is removed from the coffee cherry which leaves the fruity mucilage (thick, gelatinous substance produced by all plants) still intact during the drying process, so basically the coffee is dried with this sticky fruit pulp still attached. The pulp is sometimes known as ‘honey’ and so pulped natural can also be known as ‘honey washed’ coffee, which tend to have more body and less acidity than their wet process equivalents, and can have a cleaner, more uniform quality than full natural dry-process coffees.

With the help of newer forced demucilage equipment, this allows for greater control of exactly how much mucilage is left to dry on the coffee.

发酵与晒场 Fermentation and drying

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经过机器去皮后,咖啡厂会采用其中两种较为自然无化学成分的发酵法让味道均质 (过程约需18-24小时):1. 与空气接触的自然发酵法,让果胶自然分解脱胶;2. 酵素法,利用果胶酶开启果胶让其脱胶。「若是没有经过发酵就送往晒场,最终风味表现将会不一致。」

接着 Jason 就领着咱们到附近的晒场,一般上如果天气好,豆子需日晒六日直到含水量低於10%,才会易于保存。若是遇到下雨,则会以屋顶状的盖子遮蔽 (如图所示) 以防雨水。他表示,由于含水量在炒豆时扮演着极重要的角色,因此处理厂每天皆会翻搅至少两次豆子以检视含水量。此时,Jason 回过头告诉大人们「越是传统的晒法,就越有传统的味道。」

未改种咖啡前的刘氏父子,其实以种植蔬菜与酸柑为主。由于处理场周围的园地也还种植了些酸柑,因此 Jason 也研发了独门的酸柑处理法 (Lime Process) 来创造不同风味,在浆果去皮后放入酸柑让其吸收香气,「这与食品腌制的概念雷同。」

Following the sorting and pulping process, the beans are put through a dry fermentation process or (using enzymes) for 18 to 24 hours to remove the mucilage from the bean. After the fermentation process, the beans are spread over a large clean patio area and allowed to sun dry for up to 6 days, in which the beans are consistently raked to allow for even thorough, even drying to below 10% moisture content for easy storage and to retain its original flavours for subsequent roasting.

Prior to converting their family palm oil plantation to a superior Liberica coffee farm, the abundance of lime trees surrounding the processing mill prompted Jason to experiment with what is now known as a proprietary “Lime Process”, where by the natural procedure actually offers a unique, fuller-bodied brew with notes of “citrus, lime acidity”.

后期处理 Storage

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从晒场收取回的豆子将装入这些不透风的袋子里,待熟成及水分均值后一至两个月,即可进行去壳及用风选机将豆子分类 (约需一天)。

Once the beans have reached an optimal moisture level they are stored in clean ventilated sacks, under a high altitude weather controlled warehouse for up to a month or two.

人工挑豆与咖啡豆分级 Sorting and grading

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终于来到最耗成本的过程了 – 人工挑豆。无法以机器代劳的环节始终还是得以全手工精挑,熟练的工人依照生豆的豆子完整度 (虫蛀或碎豆等) 进行分级,之后再用机器将生豆大小分级入袋保存待烘培。

直到此时,需时2个月的咖啡豆处理过程才算完成,「想不到平日所喝下的每一口咖啡,过程毫无捷径可言,大人下一回定会好好珍惜啊~」

The final steps in coffee processing involve removing the last layers of dry skin and remaining fruit residue from the now dry coffee. Grading and sorting is done by size and weight, and the beans are also reviewed for colour flaws and other imperfections., before using the machine to separate heavier and larger beans from the lighter coffee prior to being bagged and stored.

From seed to cup, it has finally drawn upon us that the coffee we enjoy each day has taken a long journey to arrive in our cup!

咖啡处理厂咖啡馆 My Liberica Coffee @ Processing Mill

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看完了豆子们的处理过程后,来些轻松些的话题吧!噔愣!这就是近日在 Facebook 上广为流传的画面,而大人今天真有幸能率先参观啊!偷偷告诉看官们,这里所见的一景一物,都是 Jason 与家人亲自动手堆砌而成的!

Having braved the distance and feeling like a processed bean ourselves, having undergone the entire process from picking to being put away for roasting and serving, taking our rightful seats at the cafe beside the processing mill is a welcome respite, as we reflect on the every aspects of coffee growing that we had just experienced. What’s more impressive is the fact that everything here was built from scratch, and on their own too!

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认真的男人绝对有魅力,看看聚光灯下的主人家亲自用了自家后院的山泉水泡制数杯手冲咖啡让大人品尝这一季新研发的滋味。在原本只有发电机声响绕耳的馆里,Jason 突步向一隅播起了轻音乐,咖啡处理厂的氛围此时立即幻变,杯里的琥珀色饮料瞬间有了另一种诠释。边品尝咖啡,大人仍是没忘了询问眼前这一颗颗蛋形器皿为何物,健谈的 Jason 毫不藏私地说这些皆是用来展示经不同方式处理后的六种生豆识别,如下:

  1. 传统处理法 Traditional Process
  2. 蜜处理法 Honey Process
  3. 全果日晒处理法 Natural Sun Dried Process
  4. 全水洗处理法 Fully Washed Process
  5. 酸柑处理法 Lime Process
  6. 真空低温处理法 Sous Vide Process

「我们倾向以味道来处理豆子,而非以利润为前提。」运用透明与健康的方式将 Liberica 豆子精品化,一直以来都是 Jason 所坚持的使命。如今咖啡处理厂逐渐成型后更加深了他对咖啡的不变情感,站在这幅由妹妹亲自绘制的巨型壁画前,大人看见的是齐心“啡”扬的赖比瑞亚家族为咖啡事业所做永续经营的规划发展,下一回大人再尝 My Liberica 的咖啡时绝对能品出另一种余韵:无畏。

「走,一起吃饭!」遵命!

Kudos to Jason and his family, we have the good fortune of enjoying the fruit of their hard labour, as we savour the savour their aromatic brew from the season’s harvest amidst a relaxing ambience and soft music bouncing off the walls and making a really nice muffled background noise, at the level just comfortable enough for Jason and us to relax in our own conversations. Our attention were turned momentarily to a series of egg-shaped containers which turns out to be a proud showcase of their beans that has undergone various processing, including: Traditional Process, Honey Process, Natural Sun Dried Process, Fully Washed Process, Lime Process and last but not least, the Sous Vide Process.

Much to our expectations, Jason insisted that their choice of processing is motivated by taste rather than profit, and by now we were convinced by his passion and dedication enough to want to control every step of the coffee process. From growing the beans, to processing, roasting, cupping and final delivery to their own coffee shop, My Liberica is committed to bring out their best in every cup of coffee served.

Time flies when we’re having fun, and the day is half over already. “JOM lunch”, as Jason insisted on having the final word…

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My Liberica Farm & Processing Mill

Address: Kampung Bukit Nyamok
By Appointment: +6010-760 7792 (Jason Liew)
* My Liberica 咖啡处理厂目前采取体验团制与观光团制

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MAGistrate 杂志大人

Creative Director & Chief Chinese Editor

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