June 1, 2017

Coffee Processing VIDEO Guide: What Is Pulping?


How much do you know about where your coffee comes from? Those beautiful coffee beans are actually the seeds of coffee berries, aka “cherries”. And getting the bean out of the cherry isn’t as easy as you might expect. In fact, it typically requires some form of machinery.

While there are many ways to remove the flesh of the coffee cherry and then dry the beans, all except dry/natural processing require removing the pulp soon after picking. Let’s have a look at how that’s done across the globe.

The Depulping Process

In this video, Behind the Beans takes us through what happens in industrial-sized machines that can sort and depulp coffee cherries. This YouTube vlogger both explains what happens and why it happens, helping you to really understand the process.

It’s worth noting that not all depulping is done in this way – there are differences across regions, machinery, and more. However, this will give you an understanding of the process on many coffee mills and farms.

SEE ALSO: VIDEO: What Is Washed Coffee Processing?

Depulping by “Hand”

Yet in many places, especially in smaller farms, the pulp is removed by “hand” – a process that looks extremely different!

When we say hand, what we really mean is that the depulper is powered by hand rather than by electricity, water, or some other method. Manual depulpers are the most time-consuming and labour-intensive, but of course also the most eco-friendly. These machines also require the producer to be responsible for sorting the coffee beforehand.

Have a look at it in this quick video of processing in Indonesia by Toba Live.

Note: these coffees have not been sorted or selectively picked, and so this will probably become commodity-grade coffee.

SEE ALSO: Origin Insight: How Coffee Farmers Ensure Quality – In 2 VIDEOS

Industrial Depulpers

As you can see from the two videos above, electric-powered depulping machines make processing coffee a lot easier for producers. These types of depulpers range in size and power – and, consequently, in cost!

On large farms, especially in regions like Brazil (the world’s biggest exporter of coffee), you’ll find industrial-sized depulpers. These giant machines tower over the workers operating them, and can get through an astounding amount of cherries at a time – just look at the pile of discarded pulp in this video.

SEE ALSO: 5 Things You Should Know About Brazilian Specialty Coffee

Feature photo credit: Toba Live

Please note: Perfect Daily Grind does not own the rights to these videos and cannot be held accountable for their content.

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