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Irrespective of the harvesting method, green coffee beans and overripe coffee cherries inevitably end up mixed with the perfectly ripe cherries and must be separated during coffee processing. Overripe coffee cherries, undeveloped coffee cherries, sticks and leaves float in water. Ripe coffee beans and green coffee cherries are dense and sink. Therefore, the first step in coffee production consists of separating the “floaters” from the “sinkers.” The coffee floaters are usually sent directly to the patio to be dried and are often slated for internal consumption. The ripe and green cherries can be sent to the patios to be dried using the natural process of preparing coffee or can be sent to the coffee pulping machines.