Picking Specialty Coffee | Part 1 (intro)
COFFEE PICKING INTRODUCTION
A coffee tree is between 3 and 6 years old until it reaches maturity.
Its fruits are called cherries. Inside the fruit, there are usually 2 berries, which we know as coffee beans. During the ripening period, the cherries are first green and as soon as they are ready for harvesting, they turn red.
Coffee is usually harvested once a year. In countries north of the equator, harvesting takes place from September to March. South of the equator, from April to August. However, climatic conditions in specific regions allow farmers to harvest all year round, which is divided into main and secondary harvests.
STRIPPING & PICKING
There are different methods of harvesting coffee. They differ in timing and approach. The "stripping" method involves pulling all the cherries, whether ripe or unripe, together with the leaves from the branches at once, either by machine or by hand. The "picking" method is more selective and only the ripe cherries are picked by hand.
HARVESTING SPECIALTY COFFEE
If the farmer's goal is to harvest the highest possible yield of specialty coffee, harvesting also involves a high level amount of work. In order to rule out later defects in the coffee beans in advance, work must be carried out very precisely and with great care. With a trained eye and sense for the development of the coffee cherries, only the completely ripe cherries are picked from the trees by hand in several stages over a period of weeks.
Once the harvest is complete, the farmers are left with only about 20% of the total weight of the coffee cherries after they have been hulled and dried. Of this 20%, only a small fraction makes it to the quality level of a specialty coffee.
Specialty Coffee | farmersvaluefirst
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.
Our personal experience of picking coffee on Juan Pablo's coffee farm, you'll get next week, first hand, in “Picking Specialty Coffee |Part 2“.
Enjoy your coffee!
More about our definition of specialty coffee and what it means for us.
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