processing plays a big impact into your cup of coffee
We are going to look at 3 different methods of coffee processing. These 3 types are what we rotate through the cafe.
Wet Process / washed
This method is often the choice with roasters for a quality specialty coffee. This method involves a little more work upfront as apposed to the other Dry Method. Once the cherries are picked from the coffee plant they are transported to the wet mill. Here they are first put into a large vat of water, this allows the unrip cherries float on the surface and the ripe ones to sink to the bottom. The unripe ones are then skimmed off the top of the water to be discarded. Next they move to be depuple (removing the out skin) and then to a fermentation tank for 24-48 hours (varies by country). This process is used to breakdown the pectin and other sugars to further remove the sticky mucilage. After the beans have been fermented for a suitable time, they are then to be dried to a moisture content of around 10-12%. This keeps the beans from molding and introducing unpleasant sour flavors. Once dried the last thing before the beans are shipped is to remove the parchment. After the parchment is removed the bean are the bagged in burlap bags and shipped to us.
Dry Process / Naturals
This method is often referred to as "Naturals" complementing the process of using the cherry to do the fermenting rather than water. Cherries are picked then directly placed onto drying patios with the outer layer of skin still on the cherry. The cherries ferment naturally this way while being baked in the sun. Careful attention is needed in to process coffees in this manner. They need to be rotated about once every 6-8 hours to make sure they are drying evenly, and prevents mildew from growing. This form of drying can take days to weeks to complete, which also is based on weather conditions. Once the correct moisture content is reached the beans are then moved to be hulled (removing of the cherry and parchment).
Semi-washed / giling Basah
Semi-washed or referred to as "Giling Basah" meaning wet grinding. This method is the cross between the washed and dry processes. Initially the cherry is depulped and the beans with the mucilage still intact is stored for 24 hours. After the hours in storage they go straight to drying in the sun. Just as with naturals, they need to be watched closely and rotated every 6 hours or so. This process is what many Indonesian Countries use, and are know for the heavy earth tones and syrupy like body.