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The other day, I spoke to a tea fanatic. he introduced me into tea world and also explained me, that harvest time of tea leaves has significant role in tea quality. (Especially the first flush which is the first harvest in given year)

It made me wonder: Is there any significance to coffee quality regarding the bean's harvest time?

  • The first flush of tea is indeed some really good tea... – Ludwik Jan 29 '15 at 15:58
  • I have edited out your second question, it's best to ask separate questions individually. – fredley Jan 29 '15 at 21:30
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Yes, it does, but it's much more complex than that :-)

Harvest times vary greatly depending on the latitude, altitude and variety of beans being harvested. There is a very large table here which illustrates the variety of harvest/shipping seasons, as well as the optimum points of both.

In general, December-February is best, but some countries vary anywhere from June to October. Some countries with a larger variety of crops have a lot of different 'Best' points, e.g. Kenya:

enter image description here (The top brown/red line indicates harvest times, Red Bs indicate the optimum harvest times.)

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So Tom Medley has a great answer, but its pretty much based on your temperate climate biases. Coffee is grown in the tropics/sub tropics, and time of year has much less effect on us then it does in temperate zones. I pick coffee all year round, with great flavor, although twice per year the output shoots up, locally we call this harvest time.

The important point here is not time of year, but maturation time for each bean. When I pick coffee there are ripe red beans, maturing beans, green beans and flowers on my plants. Said a different way, there are beans at different stages of production. To be picked 'at the right time' means waiting for each bean to be big and red and ripe, and not pick it before, or long after that point. This is what really matters for the quality.

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