Did you know it can take five years from the time a coffee seed is planted to actually being able to harvest a coffee cherry? Think about that for a minute. A farmer has planted and weeded and watered and nurtured that tree for five years before he can pick a single coffee cherry to sell.
After those five years the harvesting can’t be done all at once because the cherries don’t ripen at the same time. They have to be picked individually as they become ripe. Some of the larger farms have huge machines that pick everything at once including green, half ripe or over ripe cherries, it’s costly and you end up with lower quality beans.
Then comes the cleaning, the drying, the sorting and the hauling to the warehouse (sometimes miles on a bike or walking with the bag on their head). After the green beans have been sold, they travel on ship to America, where the roaster takes over.
The roasted beans are then packaged and sent to the retailer or the coffee shop, like the Alley Cat Cafe, where the barista painstakingly, yet lovingly prepares your latte. It took a lot of hands to make that morning cup of coffee……