A MANUAL TASK: THE COFFEE HARVEST
Did you know that it takes about 35 freshly picked coffee beans to fill a coffee capsule with 8 g of roast coffee? An impressive number – especially considering that the coffee beans were harvested by the pickers almost exclusively by hand. It may require a large amount of time and effort, but it also guarantees the high quality of our K-fee® capsules. It’s a very manual task.
A PLAY OF COLOURS IN THE RIPENING PERIOD
It takes seven to nine months before a coffee bean is ripe and ready to be harvested. During this ripening period, a coffee bean springs forth from the white blossom, its colour changing from green to yellow to a bright red – a marvellous array of colours. This is exactly the right time for the pickers to pick the beans from the plant.
A LOGISTICAL CHALLENGE
Coffee is usually harvested once a year, but sometimes two harvesting cycles can occur in the tropical areas of production. This means that the exact harvesting time can vary greatly depending on the geographical situation; the harvest in the countries north of the Equator frequently takes place from September to December, while south of the Equator, it occurs at an earlier time, from April to August.
The harvesting time presents a real challenge for coffee farmers, as not only ripe beans can be found on a coffee plant at this time, but also unripe and overripe beans. For this specific reason, the best quality coffees are not harvested using machinery, but exclusively by hand – a guarantee that the selection will be immaculate. This means that a large workforce and functioning logistics are of extreme importance to coffee plantations.
EXPENSE AND YIELD
The picking performance of the workforce does therefore not only depend on its skill and speed, the quality of the plantation also has a distinct influence. The slope, the distance between rows of trees and the species to be picked all influence its daily performance. Experienced pickers harvest up to 120 kg of coffee beans per day, which is equivalent to a raw coffee yield of about 20 kg.
It is, without a doubt, an arduous task – and for us at K-fee®, it is a reason why we place such a high value on coffee as a product, and why we put it in your capsules with such care.