When drinking your favourite coffee each morning, do you ever wonder how it is made? You probably know that it comes from coffee beans and that there are many different varieties to choose from, but do you know what the process of harvesting coffee entails?
Coffee beans are harvested during the dry season every year, and there are a couple of methods for doing this. When coffee cherries are bright red and glossy, it means that they are ripe for picking, but not all beans ripen at the same time.
In order to avoid picking unripe coffee fruit, it is preferable to harvest by hand. Although this method is time-consuming, it does prevent waste as the harvesters will spend all day picking only ripe fruit and leaving the unripe fruit on the tree until it is ready to be picked.
The alternative method is known as strip harvesting; this process involves a machine removing all fruit from the tree whether it is ripe or not.
Best Harvesting Method
As with everything, there are pros and cons to each method of coffee harvesting. With selective harvesting, there is a greater yield of ripe fruit,which means that the coffee producer can demand higher prices. There is also a greater scope for planting trees on sloped surfaces because the fruit is picked by hand. However, the process of picking the fruit can be slow, and it requires a labour force willing to work for low pay. Strip harvesting is much quicker, but extra work is needed after stripping to separate fruit.
Sonext time you are sipping on your favourite brew, spare a thought for the coffee harvesters who are hard at work stripping coffee fruit from trees so that you can enjoy your delicious blend of aromatic coffee.