Harvesting and processing system


In most producing countries coffee harvesting is still manually, done through two system:


“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 rip by hand or by pliers all the cherries of a branch in one phase only, when they reach optimal maturity. This is a faster method, but qualitatively less refined because it does not allow a selection.


After harvesting, there are two methods to extract the beans from the fruits.


The “dry” treatment is used when the harvest is made with the stripping method and gives rise to “natural coffee”. The fruits are dried in the sun for a few days, then passed into special decorticators that break the peel and the parchment, releasing the green seeds. It is a faster and cheaper method.


The “wet” treatment, known as “washed coffee”, is applied to fruits, which are previously selected and harvested by the picking method. Special machines then break the cherries skin and release the seeds, which are immediately put into tanks to ferment in order to separate the parchment from the pulp. The perfectly clean seeds are then dried.
This process is longer and more expensive, but it offers high quality coffee that are distinguished by their scent and aroma from the natural ones.