Processing

Pealing Back

The Pulp

Processing Methods

Converting coffee cherries into quality coffee beans requires extensive and delicate processing. The techniques and methods vary based on several factors including location, climate and even season. With every method determining the quality of coffee produced.

Environmental Consciousness

We always strive to use the most natural method with the highest proven quality, the least amount of waste and the lowest possible impact on the environment.

Pulping

Removing the

Pulp

Pulping

We pass the freshly harvested cherries through a pulping machine where the skin and pulp is separated from the bean. In a wet process, the fruit covering the beans is removed before they are dried. Coffee processed by this method is called wet processed or washed coffee. The wet method requires the use of specific equipment and a lot of water but produces better quality coffee than dry processing.

Waste Water

The pulp is washed away with water, usually to be dried and recycled as mulch, it serves a very good all-purpose manure. The water produced by wet processing of coffee produces can be toxic to the coffee plants. At our farms the wastewater along with the shell and mucilage are reprocessed in specially segregated area as compost to be used in other soil fertilization programs.

coffee-fermenting-tanks

Fermenting

The Beans

Depending on a combination of factors — such as the condition of the beans, the climate and the altitude — they will remain in these tanks for anywhere from 12 to 48 hours. The purpose of this process is to remove the slick layer of mucilage (called the parenchyma) that is still attached to the parchment; while resting in the tanks, naturally occurring enzymes will cause this layer to dissolve. When fermentation is complete the beans will feel rough, rather than slick, to the touch. The beans are rinsed by being sent through additional water channels.
Grading

Grading Coffee

Parchement

 

Grading

Coffee Beans

After fermentation the coffee is sent into the grading channels where they are washed clean with the purest water. This process not only cleans the beans but as the flow of water carries the beans along the slight incline of the grading channels the coffee is separated with the most dense and best quality at the high end of the channel and the smaller lighter and defective beans flowing down channel where they are separated.

Drying

Drying Coffee

Parchment

Drying Coffee

Parchment

Pulped coffee, still encased inside the parchment envelope (the endocarp) needs to have a moisture content of 11% before it is milling. For the best results and quality our coffee is sun dried on drying tables where it is turned regularly to ensure that it dries evenly. During the rainy seasons and “winter months” it is not possible to sun-dry the coffee parchment, the coffee therefore has to be dried mechanically with fans in special drying rooms.

drying-coffee-parchment

Sorting

Making The

Grade

weighing-parchment-coffee

Sorting Coffee

Parchment

Once the dried coffee attains the required moisture content it goes through another rigorous sorting process, this time it is sorted by size and density and graded a Parchment 1-4 (P1-P4) with parchment 1 being the best quality (most dense) and 4 being the least (lightest). The coffee is also evaluated for colour flaws, imperfections and damage that could have been incurred while drying.
Storage

Storage

Storing Parchment

Before the parchment coffee can be turned into a coffee blend it must first go through a milling process to remove the endocarp. The parchment is weight and stored in 70Kg bags while it is bulked awaiting a date with the millers.

Transporting Coffee

Special permits are required to move or transfer coffee and once the required weights are met the parchment is sent off to the millers.