Coffee cherries in forest

Is it coffee harvest by hand an easy task – Moments from farm

“Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen.” Conan O’Brien

Visiting a coffee farm

During our recent visit to Chiang Mai, in Northern Thailand we had been invited by local farmers to their coffee plantation to pick coffee cherries with them. This task was not as easy as we thought it would be!

Coffee grows in mountainous areas, where the temperatures in the morning are nearly 0 Degrees Celsius. Our hands were cold and we couldn’t feel our fingers when we were picking the coffee cherries.  

The area was steep and the ground was slippery from the rain. While picking the cherries, we not only had to maintain a stable posture and manage our balance, but we also had to keep an eye out for snakes and spiders.

Picking

Coffee cherries must be picked when they are ripe, when they have the right size and when they are fully red and almost purple. It was challenging for us is to pick the most ripened coffee cherries without damaging the unripe ones on the branch.

Various different kinds of insects – especially ants –  are drawn to  the sweetest coffee cherries. Often times, when were looking forward to pick beautiful ripe cherries, ants moved to our hands and started to protect their treasures. Within a couple of seconds, our hands where covered with ants.

Let’s not forget about the flies and mosquitoes that were constantly around us while we were picking the coffee cherries.

Picking coffee cherries is not have an easy job.

Nothing worth having comes easy.

DAY OF COFFEE PICKER:

Wake up at 4:30 am, start work around 6 am, with first light. Pickers usually works in high season between 6 to 10 hrs. per day and 7 days per week.  Daily, the pickers can pick up between 45 kg up to 200 kg, depend of farm , speed, of pickers, picked coffee cherries and others.

Coffee picking is seasonal work and coffee pickers are moving between farms or regions.

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