Collection: Washed Process Coffee

The Washed or Wet process is widely used in specialty coffee to efficiently separate the fruit from the seed. It can be done with or without water, and there are variations such as "Fully Washed" with water and other methods that mechanically remove the mucilage. Fruit removal involves depulping or demucilaging within 24 hours of harvest.

For fermentation, depulped coffees are typically placed in fermentation tanks for 12-72 hours, while demucilaged coffees are moved to drying surfaces or equipment instead of tanks. Fermentation can occur from harvest until the seeds reach 11% moisture content.

Drying time varies, with mechanical methods taking 18-36 hours on average, and drying on patios, raised beds, or in dryers lasting 7-15 days.

The profile of Washed coffees is characterized by clean and articulate flavors, caramel, or sugary sweetness. The fruit acidity can vary depending on other factors, and these coffees can exhibit bright and crisp notes.

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What is Washed Process Coffee

Where did the washed coffee process originate?

The washed process originated in Latin America but is often used in Africa, Central, and South America (with the exception of Brazil where it is uncommon.)

What does washed process coffee taste like?

The profile of Washed coffees is characterized by clean and articulate flavors, along with caramel or sugary sweetness. The fruit acidity can vary depending on other factors, and these coffees are capable of exhibiting bright and crisp notes.

Does washed coffee involve fermentation?

Frequently, the term "fermentation" is misused in this process. Fermentation actually begins when microorganisms start metabolizing sugars in the fruit, which can occur when an access point is created during picking. Fermentation in Washed coffees requires either fruit material (mucilage) or a certain moisture level (11%) to serve as a fuel source.

In the coffee industry, the "length of fermentation" refers to the time when coffee is piled in tanks or submerged in water to regulate microorganism access to the fruit material. "Open" or "dry fermentation" describes coffees that are depulped and left in open-air tanks with their mucilage for up to 24 hours. "Underwater" or "wet fermentation" can take longer, depending on climate, water quality, and microorganism activity.