#coffeschool coffee cherry
In nature everything is perfect and, in fact, even the coffee plant has found a way to protect itself and give us the bean that people from all over the world love. Unlike what you might think, the coffee bean does not mature in a pod, but it is enclosed, alone or with a twin, in the drupe: the cherry that protects the coffee beans until harvest, as if it were a treasure chest.
Although it is quite difficult to see a drupe in everyday life and touch it, it is possible that some people saw it at least once passing through the Camardo coffee plant : in fact, there are several plants in the hall of our offices, where they have found a microclimate that favors their growth. We are particularly fond of these plants of various sizes because they are all daughter plants of the beans that Bartolomeo Camardo had brought back from his trip to South America in the 50s, which have multiplied over the decades thanks to the loving care of families and employees who have been able to grow these coffee plants with affection: this is the reason why we are very fond of this large green corner.
Anyone who has ever visited our company probably saw the drupe in the picture without knowing what it was, since the coffee drupe at first glance looks like a cherry! Yes, at the peak of ripeness, the coffee cherry has a bright red color which indicates that the perfect time for harvest has come. But let’s take a step back and see how this flashy red is achieved.
Unlike the coffe flower, which has a very rapid flowering, the maturation of the coffee drupe lasts months, to be precise from six to eight for the Arabica, while for the Robusta it goes from nine to eleven. The ripening time is affected by various factors, such as climate, type of soil and, of course, variety of coffee. It is possible to find on the same plant drupes that are at different stages of maturation and, consequently, the plant appears very colorful: the coffee drupe, in fact, changes color over the months and passes from the initial green, to yellow, up to emblematic red that indicates the ideal time for harvesting (with the exception of the Bourbon variety which remains yellow).
Opening the drupe we can observe the wonderful way that Mother Nature has invented to protect the beans: under the red outer part, a whitish pulp wraps the two beans placed one in front of the other; around them we find two other films, the parchment and the silver membrane. Only after removing all these protective layers can we finally reach the coffee beans, which, unlike what you might imagine, are not brown (this color is revealed only after roasting), but green, ready to be roasted and mixed, to reach coffee cups around the world.