COFFEE PROCESSING: WASHED METHOD
By now we know that coffee taste can vary for many reasons. Once discovered the characteristics of the natural method, let’s learn more about the washed method, defined also “wet”.
The natural method implies that cherries are dried in the sun, instead, the washed or wet method requires that the freshly picked drupes are immersed in tanks of water: in this way ripe cherries are separated from the immature ones or that have defects. The latter, floating are so removed.
At this point, drupes are passed through machines that in a continuous flow of water break peel and pulp. As a result, the grains are still covered by mucilage and endocarp. The latter, are then fermented in large tanks with or without water from 8 to 72 hours, in this way mucilage ferments and decomposes.
At the end of this stage, coffee beans are put in tanks or cement ducts and washed. At last, they are dried in the sun as in the natural method.
At this point the coffee is passed through machines that break the endocarp without damaging the beans.
How to recognize washed coffee?
We can recognize washed coffee thanks to the silvery line into the central furrow. It has got higher sourness, medium body and an excellent complexity of aromas that remind cocoa, citrus fruits and also delicate floral hints.
Washed coffee is no more or less good than natural coffee; it is different and able to add finer and more intense sensations to the cup.