Processing

Industrial, semi-industrial and traditional processes for preparing coffee in different ways, seeking to enhance different organoleptic characteristics before roasting.

Processing begins with farm management, taking into account a series of variables such as region, relative humidity, altitude, shade, temperature percentage, variety, time of harvest, precipitation, among others.

Currently, many processing facilities of Café de Costa Rica are in constant development and innovation.

Among the main processing methods are the following:

WASHING

An industrial process that uses mechanization to separate the bean from the pulp. It is the most traditional process of Café de Costa Rica. Coffee cherries are received and then moved to siphons to enhance the separation of the pulp from the bean. Next, it undergoes a process of mechanical pulping. The bean with the mucilage is washed to separate the honeys, and finally, the pre-drying and drying processes are conducted

Three types of washing processes:

Conventional Washing

Double Washing

Triple Washing

NATURAL

This process consists in placing the whole cherry of Café de Costa Rica (with pulp, perfectly ripe for the process) on African beds in the sun. In some cases, this process involves variations:

Heavy Natural: 30 days in the sun, more than 28 degrees Celsius*.

Smooth Natural: 15 days in the sun, less than 21 degrees Celsius*.

Normal Natural: 15 to 30 days in the sun, between 21 and 28 degrees Celsius*.

*Drying times and temperatures depend on different variables (such as region, temperature, altitude, humidity, season, shade, among others). The types of African beds or greenhouses depend on the producer's and processor's concept.

ANAEROBIC

This process is one of the most innovative and has semi-industrial characteristics. It consists in placing the pulped coffee with all its mucilage in a hermetic tank, with the goal of isolating the oxygen to enhance the controlled fermentation process.

Next, it is placed in greenhouses for approximately 4 days to then be placed on African beds for a period of 18 days, at a temperature higher than 21 degrees Celsius*.

*Drying times and temperatures depend on different variables (such as region, temperature, altitude, humidity, season, shade, among others). The types of African beds or greenhouses depend on the producer's and processor's concept.

HONEY

This processing method seeks to enhance the characteristics of the Café de Costa Rica bean, with the cherry's honey remaining on the bean.

This process is being developed in different ways, as it is under constant innovation. Among the different ways of preparing coffee honey, we will highlight two:

1- Degrees Brix:  It consists in measuring degrees Brix. Degrees Brix are a unit of measurement that determines the total dry matter (sugars) dissolved in a liquid. This method is aimed at calculating the bean's sugar level in order to define–from the plant–the organoleptic characteristics of the cup.

2- Degree of Honey: Some processing facilities define honey processes according to the cherry's amount of honey, which may be differentiated into: 100% Honey, 50% Honey and 25% Honey.

100% Honey: This process leaves all the honey in the cherry so that flavors and essences are incorporated into the bean.

  1. Red Honey: 6 to 7 days in the sun, between 21 and 28 degrees Celsius*.
  2. Black Honey: 6 to 12 days in the sun, more than 28 degrees Celsius*. Coffee in African beds must be covered by a black plastic to increase its temperature, so that the cherry turns darker.
  3. Gold Honey: 6 to 12 days in the sun, less than 21 degrees Celsius*.

50% Yellow Honey: This process seeks to pre-wash the cherry to reduce 50% of the honey, and under the sun, it turns into a more yellow color than the rest, 6 to 7 days in the sun*.

25% White Honey: 6 to 7 days in the sun*.

*Drying times and temperatures depend on different variables (such as region, temperature, altitude, humidity, season, shade, among others). The types of African beds or greenhouses depend on the producer's and processor's concept.

CAFE DE COSTA RICA

Coffee Institute of Costa Rica (ICAFE)

(506) 2243 7863

ADDRESS

San Pedro, Barva, Heredia, Road 128, Km3
PO Box 280-3011 Heredia

By Gino Delgado - Copyright Cafe De Costa Rica 2019
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