From Seed to Tree
Most coffee farms have a special place in which to raise the seeds before planting them out. The coffee beans have to be planted in rich soil, and will soon start growing. At this point, they are called ‘soldiers’ and it looks like roasted coffee on a thin green stem. Not long after this, the bean opens and the first leaves are revealed. Coffee plants grow quickly and just after 6–12 months they can be removed from into regular soil for production. Coffee growing requires a lot of money and time. A coffee plant usually needs at least 3 years to fruit properly.
Blossom and Fruit
Most coffee trees have one harvest per year. Some trees have a second harvest, but the beans are smaller and of lower quality. Coffee trees cannot be grown anywhere, first, the plant needs to be triggered by a prolonged period of rainfall. This is followed by bloom, producing lots of white blossom flowers.
Then it takes up to nine months until the fruits can be harvested. The coffee cherries do not ripen the same. So the farmers have difficulty in choosing between harvested fruits from each tree at the same time.
The Coffee Fruit
The size of the fruit varies between the varieties. But generally, they are the size of a grape. The beans are covered in a cherry, which gives the volume for the fruit. All cherries start out green, just like any other fruit, and in the process, they develop a red or yellow color. Yellow-fruiting trees are most likely avoided as it is harder to determine when the fruit is ripe.
Ripeness defines the sugar quantity in the fruit, that's why it’s important to harvest only the red brands. However, producers believe in different tastes. That’s why they are harvesting their cherries at the same time, so they’ll have fruits with more and less sugar in them.