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The harvesting of the fruit of the coffee tree can be carried out manually or mechanically.
Coffee fruit does not ripen uniformly. Both ripe and unripe cherries can be found on the same branch. In order to optimise the harvesting of the fruit and guarantee bean quality, cherries are hand-picked only as they ripen, leaving the yet unripe ones to continue their evolution.


However, in some growing regions, most notably Brazil, where large coffee plantations are prevalent, the harvesting of cheaper coffees is speeded up by a technique known as stripping, during which machines remove the coffee fruit from the trees in a single operation, thus combining ripe, unripe, and overripe cherries in the same batch.