My father is a tenant of a 3-hectare land. During the time that this land has many coffee trees, I always help in harvesting ripe coffees. Father always remind us to harvest coffee carefully and try not include the fruit stalks. It is claimed that new flowers will bloom from stalks if left on tree branches.
Harvesting carefully? In harvesting, arms should be fast or the black ants will start crawling all over the body. Ant bites are not really painful but considering their number, a hundreds of bites are not pleasing and are very irritating. How can I be careful?
All coffee cherries can be harvested as long as they are matured (magulang na) and ripe. In short green and ripe coffee cherries are both harvested. This method of harvesting is called stripping.
Some modern farmers harvest their coffee using harvesting machine, shakers. This method intend to harvest only the ripe coffees because they can easily be detached from stalks by shaking. However, this technology is not perfect and may also get unripe coffee unintentionally.
The very strict and best way to harvest coffee is by selecting only the ripe ones. Obviously, coffee ripen at different day during the harvest season. So this harvesting is done three or more times. This method is costly and labor intensive but this ensures that all coffee are ripe and in their full flavor potential.
If I am a coffee buyer, how will I know if the coffee cherries / beans are all ripe. I will never know unless I buy it undried or I harvest the coffee myself.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.