Harvesting coffee is a very labor-intensive and time-consuming craft. This is because coffee plants only bear enough coffee cherries to be harvested after three to four years. The cultivation and further processing require a lot of experience, precise timing and care.
But now back to the beginning...
Till the beans end up as coffee in the cup, it is a long way. We want to give here a brief overview of the various processing steps that are necessary to turn the bright red coffee cherries into fragrant brown beans.
The coffee farms from which we get our coffee are located in the so-called coffee belt, which extends around the equator. The Arabica coffee plant is very demanding and only grows and thrives when certain cultivation requirements are met. What these are, you can read under coffee growing areas.
On the coffee farms, such as on the Finca Hacienda Sonora, from where we get our Villalobos Espresso, the young coffee seedlings are first raised in so-called Coffee Nurseries.
After about 8 months, when the plants are hardy enough, they are released into the 'wild'. At the coffee farm, they are now transplanted to the plantations, about 1 to 2 meters apart, protected by trees and shrubs and surrounded by the natural vegetation and fauna of the growing area.
After about 4 to 5 years, an Arabica plant bears enough cherries for the first time to be harvested. The coffee cherries develop from the flowers of the plant and about 6 to 7 months after the small white buds have faded, the coffee cherries can be harvested.
The harvest season differs from growing country to growing country and is influenced by the proximity of the growing region to the equator.
The coffee harvest
One of the most complex steps in coffee cultivation is the harvest. In the specialty coffee sector, this is always done by hand, by so-called "picking". The plants are visited and harvested by harvesters several times during the harvesting period over a period of up to one month. This ensures that only cherries that have reached the right degree of ripeness are harvested. The harvesters have an eye for this and can identify this point in time by the correct red shade of the cherries. The cherries, which are still too green, are thus given sufficient time to ripen.
What is important to us
Our coffees come exclusively from extensive traditional Arabica coffee cultivation, in which the coffee plant grows between trees and bushes and no or only minimal intervention with fertilizers and pest control measures is necessary.
How a coffee plant is raised has a considerable influence on the subsequent taste of the coffee. We advise every coffee lover to distance from coffee from intensive cultivation of large plantations and monocultures, because it harms not only the taste but also the nature.