Who Picked Your Cup of Coffee?

A roasted coffee bean is easily spotted and recognized by anyone, but would you recognize a coffee bean when it’s growing on a tree?

As you brew your coffee in the morning, do you ever wonder how it made its way to your counter top? 

Most of us picture coffee like this: crisp, golden brown beans. Or maybe we think of a bag of ground coffee. We might even envision the wonderful aroma that the beans give off as they are being roasted.

But did you know that coffee grows as a cherry on the branches of trees?

A coffee bean is actually the inside of the cherry or the seed. Coffee trees take anywhere from 3-4 years to grow to a proper coffee producing age, and then another full year for the cherries to mature.

Coffee farmers labor over hundreds or thousands of trees to prune, protect, and pick the coffee cherries. Because coffee grows in a continuous cycle, it isn’t uncommon to find ripe, red cherries, unripe, green cherries, and flowers all growing on a tree at the same time.

This unique growing process means farmers have to handpick every cherry. Farmers rotate through the trees about every 10 days to find the perfect cherries to pick and send off to be processed.

On average, each one of these trees can produce ten pounds of coffee cherries. The processing yields about 2-3 pounds of green coffee per year.

At Westrock, we believe in people and the drive not only to survive, but also to live with dignity and achieve greatness. We believe that honest, fair, and efficient commerce produces positive, lasting change.

Because of this mission, Westrock created the Agribusiness Training Program to help our farmer partners improve the quality and quantity of their coffee yields by teaching them innovative agricultural practices in an environmentally and economically sustainable way. As a result, our farmers can profit more from their hard work.

 

Learn more about the work we do at each origin here.