Understanding the Coffee Harvesting Season

Why does the coffee harvesting season change from one country to another? Or why does the harvesting season change from one place to another in the same country? Or if we wanted to go deeper, what are the reasons to have two different harvesting dates in the same town?  These are some of the questions that curious people might ask themselves.

Yes, what is really bizarre is that even in a same town, the harvesting season varies from one area to another. But how can this phenomenon be possible? According to my humble experience, I can say that the answer is “altitude.” Coffee crops that are cultivated in lower geographical areas are ready to be harvested earlier in the year; whereas, the harvesting process is delayed for crops produced at a higher altitude. A clear example of this fact is my hometown, El Progreso. I clearly remember that my parents used to have two different dates to start the harvesting season. In the lower part, we used to start at the end of Abril or beginning of May, but in July for the higher part of my town.

My hometown and near towns are full of steep hills that make coffee crops behave differently. It is easy to walk for forty-five minutes to an hour and go from 5,000 to 6,500 feet above sea level. My theory is that the change in altitude slows the maturing process of coffee. I learned in school that oxygen decreases with altitude, and consequently I believe that living beings such as coffee have a slow metabolic process. There might be more reasons, but this is what came to my mind when writing this article. If you would like to gently refute or make additional comments, please feel free to do it.

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