What in the world is a coffee cherry, and what are the different ways coffee is processed?
- Did you know that coffee is surrounded by a bright red pulp called a coffee cherry?
- Before the coffee arrives anywhere outside of its country of origin, this fruit has to be removed. Otherwise, it will rot.
- Coffee processing is to remove the layers of (yes, these are the actual terms,) skin, pulp, mucilage, and parchment that surround the bean. Afterward, the green, clean, unroasted bean is shipped across the world, which can remain fresh and shelf-stable for years to come.
- Washed process is coffee that has been washed with turbulent water.
- First, your coffee is de-pulped – the fruit is removed.
- The coffee is then placed in tanks and allowed to naturally ferment for a day or less. This fermentation breaks down the mucilage surrounding the green bean.
- After this phase has finished, the coffee is fully washed and dried on raised beds.
- Washed processing is one of the most popular processing methods in the modern day.
- Many people describe the taste of washed coffee as ‘clean.’
- Naturally processed coffees are carefully sun-dried in the coffee cherry.
- This is the oldest basic technique for preparing coffee beans, as opposed to the more common washed process.
- These cups tend towards fruity flavors because the bean has more time to interact & ferment with the natural sugars from the cherry.
DECAF – WATER PROCESSED.
You may have wondered before: how is caffeine, a naturally occurring alkaloid stimulant found in the coffee bean, removed in decaf coffees?
There are a number of ways. One prevalent, chemical way is through using Ethyl acetate or Methylene chloride is applied directly or indirectly to the green coffee beans to dissolve the caffeine.
While this has been deemed safe by the FDA, Equip purchases beans that are decaffeinated a different way: mountain water process.
This type of decaffeination uses mountain water to gently remove the caffeine without the chemicals. Additionally, these beans are more likely to maintain the distinct flavor notes of the country of origin.