It takes five years for a tree to produce good fruit, however, after 15 years a coffee tree is on the decline and its output is depreciated. When you purchase 500gm of coffee, ponder the thought that this is a little more than half the output for a tree in one year!
And what beverage requires so much careful preparation? First the cherries have to be picked.. Harvesting is a time-intense labour, almost every human that can walk or stand - including neighbours, family and friends are called upon to pick the cherries. A good worker can pick 90 kilograms in a day, but the beans do not ripen all at once so there could be four, five, even six excursions back to the one tree. The beans then have to be extracted from the gummy fruit and the various layers inside.
The Wet Extraction Method
In this process the cherries go into a machine called a pulper which scrapes away the gummy outer layers. From there they move into large concrete tanks where they are soaked and fermented for a day. This gets rid of the remaining outer layers. They are washed again several times in clean water and put out to dry in the sun in machine dryers. The drying process here is much quicker, and the wet method has many advantages. It is more precise, more thorough and there is much more control over the fermentation, so the chances are the best coffee will come from the wet method.