How Brazil is Reducing the Loss of "Ground Coffee"


By: Beth Garrison, CEO

Brazil is using the scientific method to reduce the waste of ripened berries. In this week’s article from Science Daily, Brazil hired a team of scientists to look at reducing waste from “ground coffee.” Ground coffee is what happens when the ripened coffee cherries fall off the branches during harvest, weather conditions, or pests. In the past, this “ground coffee” has been picked up through a combination of manual and machine labor. A team of scientists decided to do a study to determine which method was the best and most efficient for retrieving the coffee (Tiago et. al, 2018).

One of the major challenges the scientists needed to look at was the impact on soil the use of the machines had over time. When using machines to retrieve the ground coffee, the soil becomes uneven making it difficult for the coffee tree roots to grow. The team studied four conditions, including a control group that had no soil management with machines. By setting up the experiment, they determined that the best way to prevent slower growth was to use a specific machine process to obtain the ground coffee and leave the soil flat and even (Tiago, et. al., 2018).

This will lead to a reduce in waste of ripened cherries, reduce poor growth in coffee trees, and will potentially lead to more great coffee in your cup! Yay, science.


American Society of Agronomy. (2018, September 24). 'Ground coffee' with soil perks in Brazil: Soil health on the menu with retrieved coffee beans. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 25, 2018 from

Tiago de Oliveira Tavares, Matheus Anaan de Paula Borba, Bruno Rocca de Oliveira, Rouverson Pereira da Silva, Murilo Aparecido Voltarelli, Antônio Tassio Santana Ormond. Effect of Soil Management Practices on the Sweeping Operation during Coffee Harvest. Agronomy Journal, 2018; 110 (5): 1689 DOI: 10.2134/agronj2017.10.0598