Life Cycle of Coffee
Coffee Life Cycle - coffee is harvested at different times of the year, depending on where it is grown. The red coffee berries are picked at exactly the right time. If the berry is under-ripe, the resulting brew lacks flavor; over-ripe berries produce a better cup.
A single coffee tree produces about 1 pound of coffee. If you also consider that a coffee tree may take at least 3 years from planting to becoming viable, you can understand the huge investment on behalf of the grower. Add in all the other factors, such as weather & politics, and it’s understandable why these Arabica beans are more expensive, and thus a consumer pays a higher price at the counter.
Following the harvest, the coffee berries, known as “cherries”, are processed by either the wet or dry method.
In the wet method, sometimes known as European preparation, the cherries are soaked in water to soften the outer skin, or husk. The cherries are then pulped to remove the skin, and the green berries are washed, fermented, dried, and graded. In the dry method, the coffee cherries are spread and dried by the sun over a two or three week period. When dry, the husk is removed and the beans graded. In the wet/dry method, the coffee cherries are picked, and then dry fermented. The husks are then removed after soaking in hot water.
Green beans are carefully sorted to weed out defective beans. The coffee is packed after grading in bags weighing between 132-156 pounds, and exported to the importer, then on to the Roaster.