Coffee beans are an essential ingredient in the production of quality coffee. The way they are processed and washed affects the characteristics of the final product.
The two main processing methods used for coffee beans are dry and wet. For dry processing, the cherries are left to dry in the sun, which reduces their water content. This process produces a cup of coffee with heavier body and lower acidity. Wet processing involves removing the cherry flesh from the seed before drying it. This method results in lighter body and higher acidity in the beverage.
Another step that can be taken is washing, which removes any remaining pulp or other material from the bean‘s surface. The most common way to do this is by using water tanks with rotating drums that agitate the beans until all debris has been removed from them. This process also helps to enhance flavor notes while reducing bitterness and acidity levels.
Finally, some coffee producers use a mechanical demucilager to remove mucilage from their beans after wet or dry processing has taken place. This machine uses blades to scrape off any remaining fruit matter on the outside of each seed. Leaving only clean, evenly sized pieces behind for roasting. The result is a more consistent flavor profile for each batch of coffee brewed.