TAKE A PEAK: Coffee Processes

TAKE A PEAK: Coffee Processes

TAKE A PEAK: Coffee Processes

WASHED, NATURAL AND HONEY

 

WHAT IS PROCESSING?

 

Processing coffee is the act of removing layers of skin, pulp, mucilage and parchment that surround a coffee bean. How coffee is processed influences its final flavour.

Firstly, to fully understand the parts or layers of coffee involved in the different stages of processing, here are the different layers:

 

 

The different processes begin after the coffee cherries are harvested and sorted. Only the best quality cherries; perfectly ripe without defects, go through the process.

There are 3 known traditional processes:
Washed or wet process
Natural or dry process
Honey

To put simply, we have flow charts to summarise the stages in which coffee cherries go through.

 

TRADITIONAL COFFEE PROCESSES

 

 

WASHED

 

 

Within 12-18 hours of picking and sorting, coffee seeds (beans) are hulled from coffee cherries through a hulling machine and left only with the mucilage on. The coffee seeds are left to ferment overnight and then washed to remove mucilage.

In a nutshell, the washed process aims to remove mucilage to achieve a clean state free of other contributing factors that may impact the flavour of the coffee upon roasting and brewing.

Expect to taste the flavour unique to the variety of the coffee plant itself, the contributions of altitude and the farming practices that allowed for a healthy coffee cherry.

 

01.
CHERRIES ARE RINSED THROUGH WATER SUBMERSION


Cherries are rinsed off of potential contaminants, allowing farmers to remove cherries that float to the top as this indicates defect or damage.
 
02.
COFFEE CHERRIES ARE DEPULPED


With the use of a depulping machine the skin and pulp are removed, leaving only the mucilage on the seed.
03.
WASHING

The seeds covered in mucilage are left to ferment (usually in a tank) overnight, this helps soften the fruit’s mucilage so it washes off easier. In the same tank, seeds are washed vigorously 2-3 times to remove all the mucilage thoroughly.
04.
DRYING


Coffees spread out thinly on tarp under a [plastic cover designed to preserve the quality of coffee and control air flow and temperature. This process takes 1-2 weeks.
05.
HULLING

Then the coffee is Hulled to remove the dried husk surrounding the coffee bean. 

 

HONEY

 

 

Essentially, the honey process is a cross between natural and washed processes. Similar to the washed process the skin is removed through hulling and just like the natural process the cherries are left to dry with components of the fruit left on. Honey process however allows mucilage to dry with the seeds, therefore no washing is really involved.

 

01.
CHERRIES ARE RINSED THROUGH WATER SUBMERSION


Cherries are rinsed off of potential contaminants, allowing farmers to remove cherries that float to the top as this indicates defect or damage.
 
02.
COFFEE CHERRIES ARE DEPULPED


With the use of a depulping machine the skin and pulp are removed, leaving only the mucilage on the seed.
03.
DRYING


Coffees spread out thinly on tarp under a [plastic cover designed to preserve the quality of coffee and control air flow and temperature. This process takes 1-2 weeks.
04.
HULLING
Then the coffee is Hulled to remove the dried husk surrounding the coffee bean. 

  

NATURAL

 

 

This technique is believed to have originated in Ethiopia it is, however becoming a popular choice of processing for neighbouring coffee bearing places. Unlike the washed process, coffee cherries are dried in whole, skipping the wash all together. This allows coffee seeds (beans) to ferment longer in the fruit.

01.
CHERRIES ARE DRIED

Whole coffee cherries/ fruit are dried in wooden mesh coffee beds where they are properly ventilated and constantly turned over for 3-14 weeks.
02.
COFFEE CHERRIES ARE HULLED

When the coffee cherries reach 11% hydration content, they are hulled to remove pulp.