Coffee Processing

coffee_processing

COFFEE PROCESSING

THE NATURAL/DRY PROCESS

Process:

The harvested coffee cherries are sorted to remove unripe berries. The ripe berries are then laid out in the sunshine to be dried to 11% moisture with the assistance of manual raking for even air circulation to prevent mold. The beans are stripped of the dry fruit and are allowed to rest for 30-60 days. Mechanical hulling then removes the bean’s natural protective layer of parchment to prepare the bean for grading and exporting.

Prevalence:

Used primarily in water poor areas such as Ethiopia and parts of Brazil, and must be executed with extreme care to prevent mold and negative flavor notes.

Quality:

Often adds notes described as blueberry, strawberry, citrus, or earthy, but sometimes with negative terms such as wild, ferment, barnyard, or manure if not executed correctly.

THE WASHED PROCESS

Process:

The harvested coffee cherries are placed into a large tank of water where ripe coffee cherries sink to the bottom and are removed. The coffee cherries are then mechanically pulped to strip the bean of most of its fruit flesh. The coffee is then placed in a trough of clean water where it ferments to remove any remaining fruit flesh. The bean is then washed and spread out on drying tables in the sunshine until the coffee achieves 11% moisture. A resting period of 30-
60 days is allotted for, and then the beans are mechanically hulled to remove the bean’s natural protective layer of parchment to prepare the bean for grading and exporting.

Prevalence:

Preferred over The Natural Process due to producing fewer incidences of bean defects such as mold, but costs much more money to execute. For these reasons, coffee produced in this manor also commands a higher price.

Quality:

Higher acidity, high flavor complexity, bright, clean, but sometimes produces a lack in body fullness.

HYBRID PROCESSES

THE PULPED NATURAL PROCESS

Process:

The harvested coffee cherries are placed into a large tank of water where ripe coffee cherries sink to the bottom and are removed. The coffee cherries are then mechanically pulped to strip the bean of most of its fruit flesh. The coffee is then placed in a trough of clean water where it ferments to remove any remaining fruit flesh. The bean is then washed and spread out on drying tables in the sunshine until the coffee achieves 11% moisture. A resting period of 30-60 days is allotted for, and then the beans are mechanically hulled to remove the bean’s natural protective layer of parchment to prepare the bean for grading and exporting.

Prevalence:

Brazil

Quality:

Noticeable increase in sweetness and body over the washed process due to the small amount of fruit pulp left on the bean before drying.

THE HONEY (MIEL) PROCESS

Process:

This process is almost indistinguishable from the Pulped Natural Process, but the mechanical pulping machines can be set to leave a specific amount of fruit flesh on the bean before drying. Normally, more fruit flesh is left on the bean during this process than during The Pulped Natural Process which leaves the bean more venerable to defects such as mold in the drying stage making this process highly challenging.

Prevalence:

Central America (El Salvador, Costa Rica, ext…)

Quality:

Balanced with fruity notes and a sweet finish.

THE SEMI-WASHED/WET-HULLED PROCESS

Process:

After picking, the coffee is depulped immediately and briefly dried. Instead of being dried to 11% moisture, this coffee is only dried to 30-35% moisture. The bean is then hulled exposing the green bean underneath. A second drying brings moisture down enough to store without risk of rotting.

Prevalence:

Indonesia

Quality:

Notes described as woody, earthy, spice, tobacco, and leather.