Cultivation and harvesting of the coffee
Climate requirements for excellent coffee
Arabica beans prefer to be planted and cultivated at high altitude approximately 600 - 1200 meters above sea level. The higher the altitude the higher the quality. While the Robusta bean prefers to be planted and cultivated on lower altitudes 300 - 800 meters above sea level.
In coffee growing regions the conditions under which the coffee crops can be grown are optimally met. The parameters for a successful coffee harvest is a balanced climate with average temperatures of 18 to 25 ° C. Extreme temperature fluctuations and recurring temperatures above 30 ° C or below 13 °C is detrimental to growth. Another factor that can damage growth is hard and poorly permeable soil. The coffee plant produces the greatest yield when it is between six and eight years of age, with the production volume declining sharply after about 20 years. On average the plants reach a yield volume of about one to two lbs of green coffee per year.
Coffee harvest methods
Single or strip picking
Over the years, various methods of harvesting have developed. The hand-single picking (or "picking method") brings the highest quality, as only the really mature coffee cherries are picked individually by hand. However, it is obvious that this method of harvesting consumes a great deal of time when one considers that 2.5 kg of coffee cherries have to be harvested for 500g of coffee beans. This type of harvests is primarily applied to the precious Arabica beans. Another method is strip-picking, also a hand-picking method, in which a lower quality has to be accepted due to the fact that all fruits, irrespective of the degree of maturity, are stripped off from the shrub in one go. This is how Robusta coffee and Brazilian and Ethiopian Arabica coffee is harvested. In order to be able to manage the enormous Brazilian coffee plantations, picking machines are used which comb the branches of the coffee trees, thus dropping the coffee cherries onto a collector. Before the picked fruits can go into processing, they must be cleaned from dirt, leaves and the like.
Processing & Roasting
How raw beans become a finished product
Coffee cherries grow on the coffee plant, and it is within these cherries that the coffee bean is hidden. The harvested raw beans are first dried or fermented - and then roasted. The most common type of processing is wet processing. It is said that this method produces higher-quality flavour. The beans are freed from the pulp and stored for 12-36 hours in a water basin. All of this takes place in the coffee beans country of origin.
The Roasting on the other hand is taken over by coffee breeders like J.J Darboven. Roasting is a vital step towards the production of high quality, and consistency. The roasting process has a decisive influence on the quality of a coffee. That's why we place unrivalled emphasis on the roasting process at J.J.Darboven.