Once coffee cherries ripen, there is only a ten day window in which they can be harvested, often painstakingly done by hand.
This ensures that only the perfect fruit are selected and that the natural sugars have fully developed. When roasted, it is these sugars that will develop into a sweet richness.
Other harvesting methods include ‘strip picking’ which involves removing all cherries from a tree by running the fingers down the branches, regardless of ripeness.
Alternatively a large picking machine will be driven slowly down the rows of the plantation, its revolving arms knocking the looser cherries onto the pickup belts below.
The cherries are sorted on the plantation to ensure ripeness, checked for defects and divided by size.