Methods of processing coffee beans

Methods of processing coffee beans

Nowadays, most people cannot imagine a morning without drinking coffee. However, not everyone is aware of how a little black dress is made. What are the processing methods that influence its aroma and taste? It is worth knowing that coffee that comes from the same plantation, harvest and identical variety may taste completely different. The secret of this secret lies in the processing methods.

Processing of coffee beans

This is a process that takes place before the beans reach the roastery. It starts right after harvest. This is a very important stage, because in order to obtain the grain, the pulp from the cherry surrounding it must be removed. This is where the processing of coffee beans begins. Depending on the flavor effect you want to achieve, there are different processing methods.

Dry coffee processing (natural process)

It is considered the best method. In this case, no water is used, which is very beneficial for countries suffering from water deficit. The cherries are dried in full sun, and everything takes several days on a concrete patio. When the flesh becomes brittle and begins to fall off on its own, it is removed and dried in the sun again - to obtain the appropriate level of moisture. The use of dry coffee processing allows you to obtain an intense, very fruity flavor profile that may be associated with the taste of jam. Additionally, such coffee has lower acidity.

Wet grain processing (washed process)

This process is characterized by many processing steps. Of course, as the name suggests, water is used, and as a result, the beans obtain a more delicate and noble flavor profile with high acidity. In the first stage of the process, the cherries go to a mechanical grater (depuler), which removes the pulp from the beans. Then, the grains with the remaining pulp are placed in fermentation pools, where they are subjected to a strictly controlled fermentation process for a specified period of time. Thanks to this, the grains are deprived of any pulp remnants and additionally rinsed of any dirt particles. The next stage is drying the grains, which takes place on concrete or special tables. The optimal humidity that should be achieved is 11-14%. It is worth mentioning that this is the most expensive and most demanding processing process. A mill and a farm adapted for this purpose are used for wet processing of grains.

Honey grain processing (pulped natural process)

This is a combination of the two previous treatments. After harvesting, the cherries are placed on a mechanical grater, where the pulp is removed. They are then left in the sun to dry and allow the remaining pulp to fall off. During this process, the grains stick to each other, making them look like honey. Drying continues until the humidity reaches 11-12%. Honey coffee processing allows you to obtain a coffee flavor characterized by sweetness with a very intense profile and delicate, sweet acidity. Coffees made using this treatment most often come from Brazil or Costa Rica.

The final result

The use of appropriate processing of coffee beans is the most important element during the coffee creation process. Ultimately, this affects its taste. When looking for the right coffee that will meet your individual needs, it is worth paying attention to this factor. The noticeable differences that occur with different methods of processing beans can be more easily felt when brewing it using alternative methods. Thanks to this, you can make sure which method suits you best and in the future choose the perfect coffee based on the knowledge you have acquired.


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