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The Beginnings of Coffee

After coffee seeds, or beans, are processed and roasted, they can be brewed into coffee. However, right when coffee seed/bean comes out of the cherry, and is not processed, the seed can be planted to become a coffee tree. Depending on the variety of coffee, it can take 4 years for the coffee tree to bear fruit, which are called cherries. When they are ready for harvest, the cherries turn a bright deep red color. 

Typically there is one major harvest a year, and most coffee cherries are hand-picked. A good picker will pick an average of 100-200 pounds of coffee cherries a day, which will produce 20-40 pounds of coffee beans. There are two different methods for harvesting the coffee cherries. The first is, strip picking, this means all the cherries are picked regardless of how ripe they are. The second is, selective picking, the coffee cherries are only picked when they are at the peak of their ripeness. The coffee pickers will rotate among the trees every 8-10 days in order to pick only ripe coffee cherries. 

After picking, the beans are processed. Typically there are two different ways coffee cherries are processed: natural, and washed. The natural process, the oldest method, is typically used in countries where water resources are limited. The coffee cherries are spread out on large surfaces to dry. The cherries are continually raked, to ensure the cherries dry evenly and to keep them from spoiling. The washed process coffees remove, or wash off, the cherry pulp after being harvested. 

After being processed the beans are exported and shipped to coffee roasteries like us where the coffee will be roasted, brewed, and end up in your morning cup of coffee. 
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