Coffee Processing Pt. 1
So, what happens after you pick the coffee cherry?
Now that we know coffee is not a bean (it’s the seed of a cherry), the next logical question is: “How in the world do you get the seeds out of the fruit?”. This is a huge topic! The work done to get the seeds out of a coffee cherry is known simply as processing. There are three main types of coffee processing. In this blog, I am just going to do an overview of processing in general without getting too detailed about what happens to the flavor of the coffee in each processing method. The three mainstream processing methods are: Washed, Pulped Natural, and Natural Process.
We know that coffee is a drink (that you probably enjoy every morning), but we also refer to the coffee grounds as coffee, coffee beans as coffee, green coffee as coffee…but coffee is also an actual fruit, and just like with apples, there is incredible variety in the flavors of this fruit. The spectacular thing is that there is a direct and obvious effect on your morning cup of coffee depending on which processing method is used and what kind of coffee fruit it is. It's incredible, and there are so many combinations and possibilities for different flavors.
Here are all the different varieties of coffee fruit:
In general, coffee is hand picked, sorted, and then you either squish the fruit to get the seeds out, dry the fruit then squish it to get the seeds out, or a hybrid of both of those. The coffee starts with about 50% moisture. After removing the seeds, the seeds themselves are dried down to 10%-12% moisture, put in large bags and exported all over the world.
Here is what a drying patio looks like:
And here is how we get the coffee -- in a jute sack:
In order to get more specific about processing, I suspect we will need a blog on each processing method, but I want to let your feedback determine what you want to hear about. So comment if you want more on processing or if you want me to move on to roasting! You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for your suggestions!
~Coffee is amazing~
Levi Hartsfield // Roaster & Co-Founder
Photos from cafeimports.com
I want to know it all.
You are doing a great job!
Please continue with processing before moving on to roasting! I’m enjoying Levi’s blog! I’ve always admired his superior knowledge of all things coffee and this is really a great way to learn about the behind-the-scenes work that goes into our mugs!!