If you have ever come across visuals of coffee plantations, there are plants brimming with coffee cherries. So how do these fruits transform into coffee beans that are roasted and ground for consumption? This is achieved through the method of processing, wherein the husk of the cherry is removed to obtain the coffee bean that is inside. Before delving into the different types of processing, here is a brief overview of the layers of the coffee cherry

Outer Skin: This is the outermost layer of the cherry, also known as the exocarp.
Pulp: This is the layer right below the outer skin and is mostly made of water and sugar.
Pectin: Below the pulp is a sweet and sticky substance known as Pectin.
Parchment: The coffee bean is covered with a paper-like layer known as the parchment or endocarp.
Silver Skin: This is another thin membrane that lies under the parchment and covers the coffee bean.
Coffee Bean: There are two coffee beans in one cherry, and these are green beans when they are harvested.


Simply put, coffee processing is the method by which the layers of a coffee cherry are separated from the green coffee beans. This process is usually done soon after the ripe red cherries have been harvested. There are 3 main types of processing methods

1. Washed Processed Coffee

This is also known as wet processing, where the freshly picked cherries are rigorously machine washed with water to remove the cherry layers and husk. Once the coffee beans have been separated, they are dried out either by a drying machine or laid out in the open air. This process takes around 3-5 days, and it brings out the innate flavours of the coffee.

Here are some of Beachville Coffee Roasters’ coffees that undergo this process
Nachammai Estate
Kelagur Heights
Mooleh Manay Estate
Colombia La Esmeralda

2. Natural Processed Coffee

The coffee beans are dried under the sun after they are picked, while continuously turning over the beans with a rake to ensure the moisture content of the fruit is very low. The dried fruit gets separated from the beans during this process, which can take anywhere between 10-30 days to dry depending on climate conditions such as humidity. This manual processing uses minimal machines and is also known as dry processing.

3. Honey Processed Coffee

This is a combination of washed and natural processing. This enables the sugar from the pulp to leak into the bean, while also using lesser water than the washed process. This is also known as the semi-dry process and produces a sweeter coffee.
Beachville’s Hippla Estate coffee undergoes honey processing.

The selection of a processing methods by a plantation is influenced by several factors, each crucial in determining the final quality and characteristics of the coffee produced. One of the primary considerations is the climate of the region. Certain processing methods may be better suited to a particular climate, for instance, regions with consistent dry weather may favour natural or dry processing methods, while those with ample water resources might choose washed processing. Labour availability and cost also play a crucial role in determining the processing method. Methods such as natural processing require extensive manual labour. On the other hand, regions with scarce or expensive labour might prefer washed processing, which typically require less manual intervention.

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