Semi Washed vs Full Washed | 半水洗 VS 全水洗

What distinguishes the washed and semi-washed methods of processing coffee lies in their procedures and impacts on the final product. Initially, washed or semi-washed coffee is considered of higher quality compared to the entirely natural method, as it imparts a cleaner and more consistent flavor to the coffee, albeit at a higher cost.

The washed method, also known as the 'wet method,' involves removing the outer casing of coffee beans with water, followed by drying and bagging for shipment. This process utilizes significant amounts of water. Fully-washed beans undergo a separation process in water to distinguish ripe and unripe cherries. The skin and some pulp are then removed, with remaining pulp addressed through either traditional fermentation and washing or a modern technique like aquapulping.

In contrast, semi-washed, or 'wet hulling,' requires fewer steps. After removing the outer skin with machines, coffee beans, still retaining mucilage, are stored. Subsequently, the mucilage is washed off with water before the beans undergo drying.

Drying is a crucial phase after washing, where beans need to be dried to produce green beans for shipment and roasting. This can involve sun-drying, though in humid climates, machine drying may be necessary to prevent mildew. The debate surrounding the optimal drying method ranges from spreading beans on large patios and periodic raking for even drying to laying them on raised tables and manual turning, which demands more labor.