Harvesting Coffee Beans
Coffee Harvesting Times
year coffee is harvested during the dry season when the
coffee cherries are bright red, glossy, and firm.
How to Harvest Coffee Beans
Ripe cherries are either harvested by hand, stripped
from the tree with both unripe and overripe beans, or all
the coffee beans are collected using a harvesting machine.
These processes are called selective picking, stripping,
and mechanical harvesting, respectively. To maximize the amount of
ripe coffee harvested, it is necessary to selectively pick
the ripe coffee beans from the tree by hand and leave behind unripe,
green beans to be harvested at a later time.
For more information about coffee harvesting equipment or the methods of coffee bean harvesting, read "Coffee Harvest" by Michael Clark.
Brazil's Process of Coffee Bean Harvesting
In Brazil, harvesting the same coffee tree several times is
less cost effective than separating and discarding the unripe
or overripe cherries. Therefore, Brazil typically harvests using the stripping method
when 75% of the coffee crop is perfectly ripe. Stripping is feasible and cost effective in Brazil due to the
uniform maturation of Brazilian coffees.
In stripping, the coffee beans are pulled from the tree and
fall to the ground where they are caught by sheets.
The beans are removed from tree debris by tossing the
coffee in the air allowing the wind to carry away sticks and
leaves. The coffee
is then put in 60 L green baskets, which is the tool are measurement
used by coffee producers to determine wages.
Some coffee estates, such as Fazenda Monte Alegre in Sul de
Minas Brazil, have a computerized system to determine wages for picking coffee beans. This system accounts for the amount of coffee collected from each
person, the difficulty of the coffee harvesting conditions, and the
production of the region being harvested.
About 12-20 kg of export
ready coffee will be produced from every 100 kg of coffee
For more information about picking coffee beans, visit "How Coffee Works: Red Cherry to Green Bean."