Away with the pulp, here comes the bean
Two main methods can be used to separate the beans from the pulp: dry and wet processing.
The cherries are left to dry in the sun for several days and the beans are obtained only later using pulping machines.
This second method is more expensive: the beans go through the pulping machines first; then they are kept in water-filled fermentation tanks where any residual pulp is dissolved. The beans are then washed and dried, either in the sun or in specific machines, and are constantly stirred to prevent them from getting moldy. The pulp disappears within a couple of weeks and only afterwards can whatever is left around the now dry bean be removed.
The quality of wet-processed beans is higher; this is the process used to obtain the so-called “washed” coffees that offer superior aromatic features than found in the so-called “natural” coffees produced with dry-processed beans.
Sorting and shipment
Beans are now sorted, either manually or using a machine, first to eliminate any defective beans and then by size. Finally, the best beans are generally packaged in 60kg jute bags and stamped to indicate identity (country of origin, coffee variety, etc).