Picking coffee is seasonal work from May till August, for which a lot of people live temporarily at the plantation. At this plantation picking coffee is manual work. Berries have been traditionally selectively picked by hand. This is a labour intensive method as it involves the selection of the berries at their peak of ripeness. During peak season people from as far as Lumajang and Bondowoso are attracted. An example is the village Sempol at the Ijen Plateau. This village has 1.400 inhabitants of which 200 to 250 are available during the picking season, while minimal 1000 people are needed.

Working at the coffee plantation blawan at the Ijen Plateau - East Java, Indonesia

After peak season the seasonal workers return. They will leave the plantation, while the permanent residents will be looking for other activities in the area. That is the reason why new projects are launched such as the construction of a swimming pool near the coffee factory in Blawan, or the strawberry farm.

People are divided into groups, which makes them specialized in what they do. Those who pick the strawberries, differ from those who take care of the vegetables. While people are specialized, their working area covers the whole plantation and not just a part of it.