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Coffee Harvesting

 
 
 
  • Coffee seeds are generally planted in large beds in shaded nurseries. The seedlings will be watered frequently and shaded from bright sunlight until they are hearty enough to be permanently planted. Planting often takes place during the wet season, so that the soil remains moist while the roots become firmly established.
  • Depending on the variety, it will take approximately 3 to 4 years for the newly planted coffee trees to bear fruit. The fruit, called the coffee cherry, turns a bright, deep red when it is ripe and ready to be harvested.Whether by hand or by machine, all coffee is harvested in one of two ways:
1) Strip Picked: All of the cherries are stripped off of the branch at one time, either by machine or by hand.
2) Selectively Picked: Only the ripe cherries are harvested and they are picked individually by hand. Pickers rotate among the trees every eight to 10 days, choosing only the cherries which are at the peak of ripeness. Because this kind of harvest is labor intensive and more costly, it is used primarily to harvest the finer Arabica beans.