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Harvest and Processing

 

Apart from the coffee plant, harvesting and processing of the coffee is one of the main additional factors that significantly affect the quality.

 

Picking:

 

The picking method is essential, as a coffee branch can bear both ripe and unripe fruits.

 

A distinction is made:

 

 

Picking

Stripping

Mechanized

Process

Each (mature) cherry is picked individually.
This is usually done by experienced coffee pickers

All coffee fruit is removed from the tree, regardless of maturation state.

Like stripping but by machine.
Requires mostly monocultures permitting the use of machinery

Impact

Only the ripe cherries are harvested

Highest Quality - highest effort/cost

Both ripe and unripe cherries are harvested.

Lower quality and effort/cost

Lowest effort/cost, lowest quality.

Mass production.

 

 

Coffee Processing:

 

After picking the coffee cherries, the outer layer - the shell - has to be removed, to separate the two beans (2).

 

Structure of a coffee bean
Coffee Cherries

 

 

Coffee beans are the seeds of the fruit which looks like ripe cheeries with a red skin(Exocarp (7) ).

The two beans (2) lie in the the pulp (Mesocarp (6)), and are each covered by a parchment (Endokarp (4)).

Structure of a coffe bean
Elements of a coffee cherry

 

When the fruit is ripe, the beans are surrounded by a thin gelatenous layer, the parchment.

 

In the parchment the beans are covered by another thin membrane, the silver skin (3)).

 

Each cherry usually contains two coffee beans.

 

Before coffee beans can be roasted, they must be removed from the fruit and dried

 

There are basically two methods for processing the beans:

 

Dry Processing

 

Wet Processing

 

 

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