Processing revisited - Washed Process and Natural Process

When the skin and pulp are removed from the seed of the coffee cherry prior to drying we are talking about the washed process, or wet process. Washed coffees require more machinery, water and infrastructure. The cherry is depulped by a machine, separated by density, and usually fermented submerged in water in tanks for 12-50 hrs depending on the location. The fermentation helps to loosen the remaining pectin surrounding the seed that remains after the depulping. After fermenting in the tanks, the coffee is laid out to dry (in some cases mechanically dried with machines, but most cases for specialty the coffee is dried on raised beds or on concrete patios). There is one last layer that remains on the seed after drying and that is called the parchment. Parchment protects the seed from drying too quickly as well as protecting it from the environment to a certain extent.

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