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Ways of processing the coffee beans

Raw coffee is processed in many different ways owing, inter alia, to cultural and climatic circumstances in each country. And so the methods below can vary in different countries and regions of production, or depending on what coffee grades are processed.

Washed, I.E., wet processed

Wet coffee, or coffee processed with the wet process

The coffee berries are sent after picking to “wet stations”. Good berries are separated from flawed ones and taken to the pulper, which separates the surface skin and part of the pulp from the berry.

The beans are then fermented for a while in basins, from where they are taken to the wash chute. The remains of the fermenting are washed off, and poorer-grade fragile beans are removed. The good grades are sent to the drying stations, intermediate storage, for removal of the parchment, and sorting.

Natural, i.e., dry processed

Coffee processed with the dry method

Coffee berries picked in the natural method are sent straight to the drying stations either to dry on concrete patios or on raised netting beds (African beds). After this, the dried berry, pulp and parchment are removed, and the other work stages are performed in the same way as in the wet method.

The Pulped Natural method

In the Pulped natural method, the skin and pulp are detached from the coffee berry. Then the beans are dried usually on raised beds (African bed). The beans are turned often to ensure even drying. Then the parchment is removed and the other work stages are performed in the same way as in the wet method.

The Honey method

The Honey method is otherwise the same as the pulped natural method but various amounts of pulp are left on the surface of the bean in the pulping process, and the drying time of the beans varies. The final work stages are the same as in the pulped natural method.

Yellow / white honey least amount of pulp (shorter drying time)
Red honey more pulp (longer drying time)
Black honey a lot of pulp (longest drying time)

Wet hulled, i.e., Giling Basah method

The method is common in Indonesia where the air is very humid. Wet hulled is quite similar to the wet method. The skin and pulp are removed and the berries are fermented in tanks. After washing, the berries are sent to drying stations for 2–3 days. The semi-moist beans proceed to the hulling process where the parchment is taken off. The drying is continued on patios for a couple of days until a moisture percentage of 12–13% is reached.