PC 1.07 Recap and Glossary

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  • Unripe cherry range through several shades of green; overripe cherry range from grayish-red or yellow to full black. 
  • Farmers who harvest only ripe coffee cherry are practicing selective harvesting. This leads to higher-scoring lots of coffee, but it also means harvesting is more labour intensive.
  • A worker can selectively harvest 50–120 kilograms of coffee cherry per day. 
  • Strip picking involves removing all the coffee cherry from the branch of a tree in one go. 
  • A worker can typically strip pick 120–250 kilograms of coffee cherry per day.
  • A worker can harvest more quickly when each bough of the tree contains more uniformly ripe cherry; when each tree has more cherry on each branch; and when the trees are arranged in such a way that plants are not too tall and the slope is not too steep. 
  • In some regions of Colombia, where flowering occurs almost every month of the year, picking accounted for 58% of the total labor cost at a typical coffee farm. 
  • In regions that experience a distinct dry season, such as Minas Gerais or Paraná in Brazil, the harvest usually coincides with the dry season.
  • The green coffee bean constitutes only 18% of the weight of a coffee cherry before drying.
  • Inexpensive handheld refractometers (brix meters) can be used to help farmers estimate the sucrose concentration in their coffee cherries. 
  • Juice of ripe arabica coffee cherries usually registers between 15–25 degrees Brix (° Bx).


New Words

Endosperm  The thick cell walls composed of hemicellulose, which serves as food storage. This is mostly what we recognise as the coffee bean, minus the embryo.

Flavonoids  Pigments which found in almost every fruit or vegetable that range in colour from yellow to blue. Flavonoids are part of the polyphenol class of phytonutrients with more than 6000 types.



End 1.07

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