Hand picking or machine harvesting, which is the best way for coffee quality?
Brazil is a coffee giant . As Frank Sinatra sang, "they grow an awful lot of coffee in Brazil".: Brazil is a coffee giant . As Frank Sinatra... ...more is an unusual place in terms of Arabica refers to Coffea Arabica, the taxonomic species name of the genus responsible for around 75% of the worlds commercial coffee crop.: Arabica refers to Coffea Arabica, the... ...more coffee production of higher quality. Why is Brazil coffee different?
First is the large scale of the agriculture in Brazil. There are huge huge farms of 800 or even 1200 We use this metric term often to discuss the size of coffee farms. 1 Hectare = 10000 Square Meters = 2.471 acres: We use this metric term often... ...more. This is unheard of in many arbica producing countries.
There is the unique terrain – unique because much coffee comes from absolutely flat land, and when it’s grown on hills, these are soft rolling hills generally. A farmer from Guatemalan coffee is considered a top quality coffee producer in Central America. Due to our proximity to Guatemala, some of the nicest coffees from this origin come to... ...more would not even think it was a hill, or steep.
Then there is climate, places where the coffee all ripens, or even overdries on the tree. Most places coffee doesn’t dry on the tree, there simply isn’t that level of dry weather as Brazil experiences.
Lastly there is the labor situation. There is not enough labor in Brazil to hand pick all the coffee, and labor costs are high.
All this leads to the use of mechanical and semi-mechanical methods of harvest. And which of those are better? Generally hand picking is best of course. That is the process used in every country. Yet in Brazil’s unique set of circumstances, you might do as well or even better with mechanical harvesting, then relying on equipment at the The wet mill is a processing center where coffee cherry from the tree is brought for initial processing.: The wet mill goes by many names (Beneficio, Factory, Washing... ...more and A facility that accepts dried coffee cherry and mechanically separates the coffee bean from the dried fruit and parchment layer. The facility can be highly mechanized, as in... ...more to “clean up” the lack of selection in picking.
The fact is, we aren’t talking about 90+ coffees when we are discussing standard lots from 1100-1200 meters in Brazil. Not with these altitudes and not with these varieties of coffee shrubs. These will be nice basic coffees, mild Acidity is a positive flavor attribute in coffee, also referred to as brightness or liveliness. It adds a brilliance to the cup, whereas low acid coffees can seem... ...more, not super sweet. They aren’t going to rate next to super find Ethiopia, formerly known as Abyssinia, or a coffee cultivar: Ethiopia, or more specifically the Empire under Haile Selassie, was known as Abyssinia. The name is Latin, derived from... ...more or Guatemala for example. That’s just being honest … and also not saying they aren’t delicious in their own right.
Check out my video please! I shot this in 2013 and updated commentary 2020 – Thompson