Raw coffee beans (the raw material we use to roast) are called green beans. At source they undergo a multi-step process of quality control and sorting.
In order to produce Specialty Coffee Grades, cherries have to be picked at the best point of ripeness, in several picking rounds. Many weeks pass in between rounds - total harvest periods are typically 3-4 months.
There are many potential defects that have to be sorted out, both at farm level or at the dry mills. It takes a minimum of 4-6 weeks after picking before a coffee is ready for export as green beans.
Green samples in Sucafina, Kenya