When the coffee tree has reached the age of about two to three years, it begins to produce fruit. In connection with a longer rainy season, flowering begins. The coffee flowers are small and white with a scent and an appearance reminiscent of jasmine. The flowering is relatively short, after which the fruit is done. For Arabica, it takes about 9 months from flowering to full maturity and for Canephora (robust) it takes about 11 months. Normally, it is a harvest per year, but in some areas with more tropical climate and frequent rainy periods there are often two crops.
What we feel the coffee bean is in fact a seed, simply the core of the berry (endosperm). The bean is enclosed by what we call the silver membrane (spermoderm), which in turn lies in a parchment, normally called parchment (endocarp). Thereafter, a layer of fruit meat that is referred to as Mucilage (Mesocarp), and to the last shell (Exocarp). What is different with coffee is that the seed, or core, occupies most of the inside of the berry when it is mature.
The berry is initially green and then switch to yellow and finally red when it is ripe. However, there are some subspecies that give yellow and even orange carries during maturity. Flavorfully, it is very little difference, but they are not as common when it is considered more difficult to assess the degree of maturity of yellow berries compared to the red when cropping. Just as with all fruits, it is about achieving a certain sugar level in the berry. Often you measure the sugar content in Brix and usually will generally harvest when the berry contains between 18-22 Brix.
The difficulty with coffee is that the maturity does not happen evenly on the bush. Thus, it can also be flowers, green berries, red berries and overmen fruit on the same bush or even the same branch. The quick -est way to harvest is called "stripping", when you completely sonika take a tag at the bottom of the branch and pulls off all berries at once. The quality then suffers, as there is no selection of maturity. The best way undoubtedly takes longer, is that only pick the berries that are mature. A picker must thus return to the same bush three or four times to only reap what is ready. This increased labor cost is covered by the fact that as a roastery we pay more for the coffee to then get the high quality we wish.