The Different Ways that Coffee is Usually Harvested
If you drink a whole lot of coffee, the chances are that you’re like most of the most of the worlds coffee drinkers who drink a lot of coffee and yet have no knowledge of how their coffee is made or where it comes from.
Most coffee trees will produce their first crop of coffee cherries when they’re about 5 years old. If these trees are taken care of properly they may produce great coffee on a yearly basis for around two decades. Most coffee trees will also allow farmers harvest about a pound of coffee cherries each year.
Harvest time usually differs in different countries but at this time most coffee trees are usually filled with a whole lot of coffee cherries. When these coffee cherries are quite red, shiny and strong, they are usually in prime condition for picking. A coffee bean is usually the seed of a coffee cherry.
A coffee cherry usually comes with an exterior that is quite thick and has a taste that is somewhat bitter. The fruit of a coffee cherry is rather sweet and has an outer texture somewhat like what a grape has. After the layer of fruit you usually have a parchment, the parchment is covered by a thin and slippery layer which has a name: mucilage. What the parchment really does is that it protects the entire area surrounding the bean. When the parchment is removed you will usually find two somewhat transparent coffee beans which are bluish-green in color. These beans are usually covered with a thin layer which is called a silver skin. 90 to 95% of the time most coffee cherries provide two coffee beans. A coffee cherry that has a single coffee bean is known as the pea berry.
Ripe cherries may be harvested from coffee trees through one of these different types of methods. These methods include: selective picking, mechanical harvesting and stripping. In selective picking the coffee beans are picked one after the other and the unripe cherries are left behind. With stripping both ripe and unripe cherries are collected at the same time. Mechanical harvesting also collects all of the beans by using a certain device called a harvesting machine. The method that is used to collect the coffee will be dependent on a number of reasons and conditions.
When the coffee is harvested the coffee beans will then be processed by using either a dry or wet process. What the dry process usually entails is that the coffee beans will be allowed to dry while they are still within the cherry. What this usually results in is a heavy and thick coffee which is smooth yet not simple. Wet processing is a method which is a whole lot newer and quite complex. What this method does is that it removes the four external layers that surround the coffee bean and in this case when the coffee is made it is a whole lot cleaner and brighter and tastes a whole lot fruitier too. Using a natural method such as pulping means that a coffee bean will be pulped and the fermentation stage will then help get rid of the silver skin. Coffee produced this way is usually sweeter than most other types of coffee. You can only use this method of producing coffee in countries that have a low humidity.
Coffee is mostly harvested in dry seasons. The nature of the dry season usually differs from one country to the other. Countries such as Brazil usually harvest their coffee in periods between March and October. In Columbia coffee is usually harvested between the months of October and February or alternatively it is harvested in the months between April and June.
Coffee is harvested during the dry season, which will vary from country to country and region to region. Coffee in Brazil, for example, can be harvested between March and October; however in Columbia it is harvested between October and February and then between April and June.
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