Coffee Processing - Washed
Once the beans are clean of mucilage and sat in their parchment, or pergamino (Spanish), they are left to dry either on patios, on raised ‘African’ beds or in parabolic sun dryers (much like open ended greenhouses). The use of mechanical dryers on large farms is also seen, but care has to be taken not to set the temperature too high or farmers run the risk of losing a whole lot/crop. However, mechanical drying only works on fully washed coffees as otherwise the mucilage will stick to the drum. The drying process requires much care and attention as frequent turning or raking of the parchment is required to make sure that there is no rot/mould or over fermentation. In washed coffees we expect to see a moisture content of between 10-12% as optimal. Once dried to the correct level the coffee is rested for a month or two (known as reposado in Latin America) to mature before being dry milled/hulled in preparation for distribution.
This process results in a very crisp clean cup, with sweet delicate floral notes and medium to high acidity depending on the region.