Andrew Houghtaling is one of the brains behind San Luis Obispo’s Corberosa Premium Air-Roasted Coffee. The more caffeine-rich the beans are, the lighter they are. After spending two summers volunteering at an apple farm near Avila Beach with his then-roommate, now business partner, Colin Princi, the third-generation avocado grower from San Diego began his coffee journey in 2015. Houghtaled was able to observe all aspects of the coffee process, including seed propagation, growing, roasting, and brewing, on the farm, which grew around ten boutique varietals.
Corberosa Premium Air-Roasted Coffee in San Luis Obispo developed a new coffee variety especially for California. Cali Mokka is an avocado-like secondary crop that requires similar inputs and can grow in the shade of avocado trees. CaliMokka trees are now available at Farm Supply Company in San Luis Obispo for backyard growers who want to try their hand at growing coffee. In addition, the company is planning to build a large farm in Nipomo. In a “banana belt” region of Oregon, there are even 400 coffee plants. If you live in SLO or along the North Coast, you can grow coffee in your backyard.
The berries from Californian trees won’t be ready for roasting until 2022. Drum roasting accounts for 90 percent or more of coffee production, with beans spinning in batches of 25 pounds or more. “Air roasting is nothing but hot air. You’re not allowing the beans to come into contact with a rough surface” Princi remarked. The aim is to put in more than just the most popular beans, such as arabica and robusta varieties.