It is 5 a.m. on a Monday, 14 hours ahead of you, busy morning, traffic, meetings, stress all over the place, and suddenly in a moment, you perceive the smell of something extraordinary. A very complex, pleasant perfumed aroma invading your senses. It is a mix of over 850 compounds that are perfectly balanced, offering up one of the most important rituals of the day. This is the experience of a perfect cup of coffee being prepared.
How can a simple coffee bean create such experience? It all starts with a flower. After 120 to180 days of zero rainfall (in the majority of regions), coffee plants suffer dramatic periods of stress, which provoke chemical reactions that lead to cell reproduction, this happens for the most primal basic need: the conservation of their species. At least 20 mm of rainfall are needed to create the most incredible experience in the coffee lands. After 7 to 10 days farms, roads and communities are filled with the most amazing Jazmin smell that indicates the coffee flowers have recently opened.
Strictly high grown coffee beans take nearly 240-300 days from that point on to achieve the desired ripeness. During this period of time coffee beans go through a process of diverse biochemical processes which cause growth and concentration of sugars, proteins, carbohydrates and other compounds in the coffee seed. The reason coffee beans are green at the beginning it’s because of their content of chlorophyll which is responsible for 30% of the coffee beans mass.
During this time, lots of patience are required. Coffee farmers have to provide their plants with day to day assistance, constant observation, and monitoring. This will determine how the plant changes during the different stages of the coffee fruit development. Coffee plants express themselves through changes in the color of their leaves. Any type of climate variation, plague, or sickness can change drastically the way a coffee plant looks in a duration of 5-7 days. Which is why most coffee farmers have become attuned with noticing minor changes in their coffee plantations. This is the reason why coffee producing is such an exciting and passionate art, as the “attention to detail” is essential.
During the last stages of the coffee cherry transformation, the coffee fruit begins to change color from green to yellow, to red until it gets to a dark violet tone. Coffee farmers often struggle at this point, because climate change has altered the rainfall patterns. Rain at this harvest season could mean the loss of a whole years work.
Yes, coffee cherries might fall down due to rainfall at this point. However, coffee farmers understand the negative impact with the quality of the beverage should they risk collecting too early. So they endure patiently 2 to 3 weeks for the perfect ripeness despite the potential loss of their yields. This is why proud coffee farmers fill their websites and Instagram pages with fresh handpicked coffee cherries in today’s world. They recognize the sacrifices they have made in order to provide their coffee consumers with the perfect pot of coffee!
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