WET Coffee – have you heard it yet?
Wet coffee is a coffee processing process for less acidic coffee varieties. Including the stages: rubbing coffee fruit to separate the pods; fermentation of mucus separated from seeds; finally drying to get the parchment coffee. This is a popular method in countries specializing in high quality Arabica varieties in Central & South America, or East Africa.
What is wet coffee processing?
Until now, we still think that processing coffee is drying or drying the whole fruit and crushing it, to separate the coffee bean. Different from dry processing method, wet processing method is quite expensive and usually only applies to high quality Arabica coffee lines (Robusta does not apply this method because of Robusta coffee beans are acidic). Therefore, very few places use this processing method.
Higher-quality varieties of Typica or Bourbon will apply wet or semi-wet processing (honey) to help maximize the amount of acid in the grain, with a specific acidity that is preferred by coffee connoisseurs.
What are the characteristics of wet processed coffee?
Good coffee beans or not because the processing stage is mainly. When wet processing, coffee beans are fermented by the same enzyme system in the seeds or microorganisms, thus keeping the taste quality higher. For coffee varieties with high taste qualities like Arabica. This method helps maximize flavor in the seeds. When processing by this method, the price of coffee is often higher than other products. However, it also requires very thorough requirements of employees to produce high quality products.
Fermentation is a very important process. You just need to lack or over time a little bit will immediately affect the quality of coffee. Therefore, fermentation should be strictly controlled. At the same time, this process is quite expensive (compared to the dry processing method that only takes advantage of the availability of nature) which requires high cost, use of many machines, large amount of water discharge.
When processing by this method, the price of coffee is often higher than other products. However, it also requires very thorough requirements of employees to produce high quality products.
So which stages of coffee wet processing process?
- Classify coffee
Coffee is often unevenly cooked, so before being put into production it should be carefully sorted. Fruit left after harvest is brought to the receiving place and immediately filled with water to classify. Any fruit that has been cooked dry, spoiled will be light, float to the top, the ripe fruit will sink to the bottom. In addition, branches, leaves, impurities, … are also removed from coffee.
- Remove the peel
Why remove the shell? Coffee pods with the main ingredients are very thick cellulose and difficult to decompose microorganisms in natural conditions. Therefore, before being fermented, it is necessary to remove the shell.
This is the most important stage in wet coffee processing. After peeling the shell, if it is left in the natural environment, it is very easy to generate strange tastes in coffee beans. Therefore, rapid peeling is essential.
- Fermentation removes mucus
This is a very important stage in wet processing because it will affect the taste of coffee later. After removing the pods, the coffee is put into a tank of water to carry out the fermentation process. The amount of water used in processing may vary, but is usually in the 1: 1 ratio. In some areas, due to lack of water (or active selection) fermentation can take place naturally without soaking coffee in a water tank. This method is called semi-wet processing or honey processing.
So why remove mucus layer ??
This is exactly the flesh and quite hard part, under the thin crust. These are caffeinated cells, tannins, high in sugar and pectin. The internal fermentation process as well as the involvement of microorganisms will help quickly decompose the mucilage without much effort.
Usually fermentation takes 24 to 36 hours, depending on the temperature, the thickness of the crust and the concentration of enzymes. Make sure that the fermentation process is regularly controlled so as not to affect the taste of coffee.
In the above period, to know the fermentation process is finished based mainly on the sensory evaluation of workers. When holding a bit of coffee, it no longer feels slippery, there is a feeling of friction with the hand. Therefore, the quality of coffee is only at a relative level. When fermented, coffee is washed thoroughly with clean water.
- Drying coffee beans
To serve other refining stages, after coffee beans are washed with clean water, they are dried or dried indoors or outdoors to reduce the moisture content in the grain to 13% – 12%.
Depending on the variety of coffee varieties, higher-quality Typica or Bourbon varieties will apply wet or semi-wet processing (honey) to help maximize the amount of acid in the grain, with specific acidity. Coffee connoisseurs preferred.
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