In order to maintain production at the scale and scope for which Brazil is famous, the national industry has adopted specific and to some degree, innovative means to achieve both picking and processing in the most highly efficient and organized manner possible, and the structure of the average farm or estate is designed around utilizing these systems and maximizing the yield potential per hectare.
Strip picking, either mechanically or by hand, is one of the efficiencies that is commonly found on farms of all sizes in Brazil: Instead of the labour-intensive selective picking typical to the rest of the coffee-producing Americas, coffee is picked less discriminately cherry-by-cherry, but rather sorted by ripeness after more general collection.
In some instances, pickers use towels, tarps, and/or heavy gloves to simply strip cherries from the branches at the peak of the harvest, collecting them in baskets, barrels, or in sacks and cloth bags.
Elsewhere, on much larger farms, coffee plants are arranged in rows more akin to corn fields in Iowa than the forest-like environment of Ethiopia or Colombia: Mechanical pickers will pass through and shake the trees, which loosens the riper cherries and allows them to be collected for sorting and processing.
While these methods raise some criticism from specialty-coffee circles, they are what have allowed Brazil to maintain its position as a tremendous source of volume, and in many cases also impart some of what is considered the classic Brazil profile that is richer in chocolate, nut, and pulpy coffee-cherry notes.