We have met some lovely new friends from Japan, they are Maria, Hisashi & Ryoichiro. They are our coffee pickers for a few weeks. It has been perfect weather for picking and they are getting a lot of red cherries.
It’s Coffee Harvest Time for 2017, finally. We have just started to hand pick some of our ripe cherries. The coffee trees still have quite a lot of green cherry on them due to multiple flowerings last year which makes our harvest spread out from September to late November. We wont do the mechanical harvest until the last possible moment as we want to let the green cherries ripen as much to red as possible.
The coffee harvest has finished for this year, with the machine picking completed after two passes in the plantation over a three week period. This is a very busy period on the farm as all activities including, harvesting, processing and laying the beans out to dry have to be completed in a specified time.
The process starts with the mechanical harvester taking the beans off the trees which are stored in bins on the plantation. These bins are then moved to the processing area by tractor and tipped into bins that feed the cherry into a floatation tank that sorts the ripe beans, the naturals and the green beans. The ripe beans then go through a pulper and are demucilaged, where the skins are removed and the beans washed.
The beans are now referred to as parchment, and together with the natural beans are put out to dry.