COFFEE PROCESSING

Many are the times that in the coffee language we mention the processing of each coffee. You also find the relevant word on our coffee packaging, each time with different information below.

So what is processing?

Is a procedure that includes every step from the moment a coffee has been handpicked at harvest until the moment that is dry milled and ready for shipment. Every alternate step in the process can affect tremendously the final flavor profile of the bean, that’s why our Green coffee buyers department spends much of its time and the most of its effort to ensure that all aspects of processing are top notch. They also proceed with various scientific experiments in order to discover potential new ways to enhance what can be done at source.

The major factors that can affect the flavor of a coffee are:

  • How much time the coffee cherry spent stored
  • By which method it is pulped
  • Which is the level of cleanliness of equipment
  • Which fermentation type is used and for which amount of time
  • What level of quality has the water
  • Which was the temperature of the drying process

The processing procedure varies tremendously from region to region but also from farm to farm. In order for someone easily understand the elements that content to a certain style of processing, we have categorized it into a few basic methods:

DRYING

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One of the most important stage of the processing is the drying. The moisture must be removed gently and consistently, neither too quickly nor too slowly. When the drying happens rapidly, there is usually and unevenness. When it happens slowly, tends to result in homogeneity of moisture content. Too much heat during the drying process (from mechanical dryers or direct sunlight) can damage the cell structure of the bean. Too little airflow, too many beans piled together, or humid conditions can overly extend the drying process, allowing fermentation, rot or mold to develop and negatively affect the flavor profile.
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DECAFFEINATION

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Our decaffeination process is being made natural, with no chemicals used, via water process. The green coffee beans are immersed in water in order to extract the caffeine. To separate the caffeine from the water containing soluble components, the water passes through a special filter which removes the caffeine.  The water contains the soluble components of the coffee beans which hold the elements of the flavor, so that, during the extraction of the caffeine, the beans maintain their original components.. This results in ‘flavor charged water’ saturated with flavor components but free of caffeine, which is used again in the extraction process. As a result of this process they obtain coffee beans that are 99.9% caffeine free. Any coffee that has been decaffeinated will have a residual amount of caffeine left.

INDONESIAN WET HULLING

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Indonesia, a country with a complete different culture has also a complete different way of producing and processing coffee which is called wet hulling. The coffee cherry is firstly harvested and then depulped by using hand cranked devices.

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WASHED PROCCESS

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The washed process involves completely removing both the cherry and the mucilage from the outside of the parchment with the use of friction, fermentation and water. The coffee cherry is picked from the branch as soon it is ripes. The ready-to-picked coffee cherries can be found in red, yellow and orange pigmentation.

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PICKING

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Though it sounds excessive, picking the ripe coffee cherry is critical to the quality of any coffee. Even if only 15% of the cherry are under ripe, it will show up as a slightly sour flavor in the coffee.

It is a challenge to the producers on a different number of levels:

  1. handpicking is the only method of selectively picking only ripe cherries
  2. pickers are typically paid by volume or weight and want to get as much in their basket as possible
  3. cherry ripens gradually on the branch and so the same plants must be picked a number of times.

The desired sugar content of ripped cherry ranges between 15 to 21%. If we don’t have a scientific meter, we measure it by the color and uniformity of the cherry on the branch. We use terms like ‘sangre de toro’ (blood of the bull), ‘red wine’ and ‘burgundy’ to help farmers recognize the perfect level of maturity.