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Harvesting and Selection:
The quality of the coffee bean and the abundance of future crops rely greatly on effective management. Depending on the type of crop, the coffee enters its productive phase two to three years after it’s transplanted into its final home. The endurance of the crop in time is directly related to the established agricultural practices and climatic factors. Despite the macro climatic conditions, the producer improves the growing conditions by using organic or inorganic fertilizers to promote growth.

Shade is necessary to regulate temperature and frequent pruning will benefit harvesting. But, in order to get an excellent cup of coffee, picking the coffee beans must be done properly.The best way to pick beans is too be selective; picking only the ripe beans one by one. A ripe bean is one that has optimal coloration and that detaches easily from the plant by using only slight pressure. Coffee beans do not ripen uniformly making it necessary to pick the same crop several times.
Once the coffee bean has been picked and stored it should not be exposed to direct sunlight. The heat, over piling and poor ventilation contributes to the fermenting of the crop and therefore deteriorating the coffee’s quality.

There are two methods to separate the coffee bean from it’s pulp: the ‘wet mill’ and the ‘dry mill’. Both techniques use vastly different processes. Wet milling, the more costly of the two techniques, has been proven to produce a better quality coffee.

The Dry Mill:
Before the invention of the wet mill process, dry milling was the only method available. In this process the whole bean is dried immediately after harvesting the crop. It is dried until it has acquired the desired humidity level. The coffee beans are spread out in the sun, or in specially designed mechanical drying machines.
This simple process is used in those regions where the climate and topographic conditions allow it. In other words, they are located on flat terrain where the drying machines can be installed properly. The process must take place at the beginning of a drought and during the maturing and harvesting stages of the coffee crop.

 

Typically, dry milling is used in places where the conditions (altitude, grain type, etc) do not allow for a high quality crop. Without optimum conditions, mills typically do not invest in infrastructure. For instance, there is no selective harvesting of the beans, and a tendency to mix coffee grains (unripe beans with green coffee beans). Also, inappropriate handling of beans when drying, or heaping the coffee beans, causes fermentation and eventually mold. This results in bitter coffee. By using the dry mill method, you can conclude it will not produce the high quality coffee bean.

The Wet Mill:
This type of mill has seven different processes: recollection, pulping, fermenting, washing, drying, thrashing, classifying and selecting.

Arabica coffee is processed with both methods. For Robusta the dry method is mostly used.

 

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