Most of us, we have no iota of an idea of how much goes to the process of harvesting and brewing coffee.
The truth is that behind that hot steaming cup of coffee, the coffee powder has gone thousands of hands, thousands of processes.
So why do I need to know all these?
Reading through this writing, I hope you will come to a better understanding and appreciation of what it takes to produce good coffee.
It all begins here. The way you harvest coffee, determines its quality.
Coffee fruits takes roughly 9 (nine) months to ripen. Dark cherry, is the color that shows that coffee fruit is ready for harvesting.
For regions north of the equator, this occurs between September and March, while in territories south of the equator, it happens in April and May. But, for countries around the Equator harvesting coffee fruit is all year round.
When the coffee ripens, it is picked with a small rake or hurled down with poles and in some areas is collected by hand. Although technology is proving to be more effective and efficient, the manual way is still preferred as it produces better product. A human hand does a better job; rightfully picking the most ripe fruit.
More than bringing hands together. Coffee harvesting brings family together. In most coffee growing populations, coffee harvesting is perceived as ‘family-get-together’ time. Every member of the family, from parents to the children is expected to participate. As a result, a lot of stories shaping their cultures have been told around coffee harvesting dates and events.
On average, families can collect between 100 and 200 pounds of coffee cherries daily.
Roasted coffee has relatively short shelf life. When properly stored, it can stay for two weeks.
Vital to note; it faces two great enemies namely, moisture and oxygen!
If you can’t consume all your coffee in 2 weeks, then you should keep it in a freezer. Coffee stored through freezing can last up to a month, or may be two. Preferably, store the coffee in a zip lock freezer bag to avoid any freezer odors.
Kindly note; Refrigeration is the worst form of coffee preservation. Don’t try to compromise its quality by storing in the fridge. The temperature is not cold enough to protect your coffee from going stale, and hence condensation will form – destroying the freshness of your coffee. Additionally, roasted coffee is an odor magnet; therefore your coffee is likely to pick up flavors and odors in the refrigerator.
On the next post, we check what really matters to most of us; roasting, blending and Brewing.