In most coffee producing countries, the coffee beans are still harvested manually. There are two systems for manual harvest:
- “picking” technique consists in taking by hand one cherry at a time, choosing only the perfectly ripe ones and leaving the unripe and overripe ones on the plant. It is the best harvesting method but it is the most expensive because it requires a large workforce;
- “stripping” technique is to shell by hand or by pliers all the cherries of a branch in one phase only, when they reach optimal ripeness. This is a faster method, but qualitatively less refined because it does not allow a selection.