Harvest of Coffee Beans


Coffee harvesting season

In India, there is only one cropping season. Arabica coffee is harvested from November to January and Robusta from December to February. Coffee is harvested during the dry season when the coffee cherries are bright red, glossy, and firm. 

Coffee is processed either by wet method to produce plantation/parchment coffee or by dry method to obtain cherry coffee and both these processing methods involve skill as well as science. For preparation of both these types, picking of fruits at the correct stage of ripening (just ripe berries - on gentle squeezing the fruit, the beans inside pop up easily) is essential.

Over or under-ripe berries result in poor cup quality after processing. If, for any reason, coffee cannot be harvested as and when it ripens, the over and under-ripe fruits and also green fruits should be sorted out and processed separately as cherry. Just ripened berries are ideal for pulping to prepare washed/parchment coffee

How to Harvest Coffee Beans

Ripe cherries are either harvested by hand, stripped from the tree with both unripe and overripe beans, or all the coffee beans are collected using a harvesting machine.  These processes are called selective picking, stripping, and mechanical harvesting, respectively. To maximize the amount of ripe coffee harvested, it is necessary to selectively pick the ripe coffee beans from the tree by hand and leave behind unripe, green beans to be harvested at a later time. 

Manual harvesting is practiced in India. It is the most labour-intensive operation.

References www.fao.org/docrep/008/ae938e/ae938e0b.htm