Washed Process Coffee
In this method, the fruit is removed from the seed as soon as possible after picking, before the drying process begins. The cherries are floated and sorted to ensure consistent ripeness levels, before being run through depulpers—machines that squeeze the fruit between rollers until the seeds pop out.
Once the seeds are removed from their skins, they’re typically moved into fermentation tanks to remove the mucilage—the remaining sticky sugar and fruit remnants. Through fermentation, microbes and yeast are used to break down the mucilage. The seeds are then washed with water to remove the mucilage from the seeds. Alternatively, a producer can use a machine-assisted process to scrub most of the mucilage from the seed through friction.
After the seeds are washed, they’re dried in the sun on patios, raised beds, or in machines. When they reach the correct moisture level, they are ready to be stored, dry milled, and shipped to the importer or roaster.