Coffee Harvesting and Proccessing

Different country uses different methods for harvesting, mechanization is not wide spread at the present time and ideal coffee harvester has yet to be invented. Harvesting time on plantation is extremely hectic and all able bodies are called in to pick the berries which ripen at differen time on each plant. Therefore, it is neccesary to visit each plant several times in order to pick the berries at the correct degree of ripeness.

There are two methods preparing or ‘Curing’ the beans. The ‘Wet Method’ and the ‘Dry Method’. The formal is used for quality beans and the dry method is used for less aromatic beans, being simpler and requiring less expensive machinery.

Wet Cure

After initial washing, the berries are placed in machines that removed the outer fruit pulp. This process exposes the sticky inner protective coat, which surround the parchment. The berries are then soaked in tanks of water to loosen the covering and are left to ferment for between 12 to 24 hours. Fresh water is then sprayed over the berries until the sticky protective coating is completely removed and the water runs away quite clean. The berries are then dried in the sun on mats or sometimes, more quickly, in drying machines. Finally, a machine called a huller removes the parchment and silver skin exposing the ‘green bean’. Examples of fine washed coffees are Colombian, Costa Rican and Kenyan.

Dry Cure

This method is the oldest and most natural way of curing coffee and three-fifth of the world’s coffee is still prepared in this manner. The berries are washed and then spread out in the sun in thin layers on mats for 2 to 3 weeks. During this time fermentation occurs and the beans are raked several times a day to ensure even drying. When they are completely dried, the beans are tumbled into a milling machine which speeds up the removal of the dried hulk parchment and silver skin.