Coffee Processing Methods: How do you get from Cherry to Bean?

Coffee Processing Methods: How do you get from Cherry to Bean?

Intricacies of Coffee Processing

Discover how coffee cherries transform into rich, aromatic coffee beans through intricate and refined processes. Get insights into the fascinating journey, from the initial stages of sweet, plump coffee cherries to the deep, full-bodied coffee beans widely cherished all around the world. Brace yourself to delve into each step of this captivating process.

The of Coffee Cherries to Coffee Beans

Visualizing a coffee cherry, you wouldn't immediately connect it with the familiar coffee bean. Yet, it is the exact journey we aim to dissect hereby. From the ripe, bright-colored coffee cherry to the aromatic coffee to your morning cup, there's an intriguing expedition that every coffee enthusiast will find fascinating.

The harvested coffee cherries undergo rigorous processing to eventually yield coffee beans—the fundamental base for flavorful, aromatic coffees. The two most prevalent processing methodologies found in the coffee industry are "wet processing" and "dry processing."

Wet Processing

Wet processing warrants a labor-intensive approach. A preliminary intervention requires the removal of the coffee cherry's skin and portions of the fleshy pulp (also known as "Pulpa") mechanically. This is by biological fermentation processes that dissolve the remaining pulp and the mucilaginous layer.

For the fermentation to proceed uniformly, the coffee cherries are guided into fermentation tanks. Here, they are stored for a minimum of 12 hours.

Post-fermentation, the coffee undergoes a washing procedure and then dried under sunlight. In the subsequent stages of processing, the beans are stripped from the dried parchment skin.

Dry Processing

Considered the oldest and simplest form of processing, dry processing is most often utilized for mechanically harvested cherries, particularly in Brazil.

The coffee cherries are left to dry under the sun for around 3 to 5 weeks on extensive drying yards known as patios or drying tables and sometimes in mechanical dryers.

Post-drying, the fragile parts of the coffee cher that have been rendered brittle after the drying process, can be removed easily, leaving behind only the coffee bean. The dried beans are then sorted and packed for transportation.


Differences Between the Two Methods

Both processing methodologies offer their unique advantages and limitations. The dry processing method is simpler and less labor-intensive but extends longer than the wet method, concluded within just a few days. Though wet processing ensures quick, it results in significant water consumption.

The taste difference is palpable too—wet processed coffee beans exude a milder, more aromatic flavor. In contrast, dry-processed beans manifest a more robust, full-bodied taste. Intriguingly, you would need 6 kg of fresh coffee cherries to obtain a kilo of raw coffee!

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