NZ Coffee beans, New Zealand,
What is a Wet Benefico Process?
The farmers use a wet method or known as a washed coffee process. The coffee cherries are sorted in the water. The unripe or bad cherries float to the surface and the ripe or good cherries will sink. The cherries are pressed through a machine and screen using water and this helps some of the skin and the pulp to be removed. The balance of the pulp and skin is removed during fermentation.
During fermentation and the wash method, the remainder of the pulp is removed by the breakdown of the cellulose and the addition of microbes, as well as washing the beans in water. Fermentation can be done with extra water or, in "Dry Fermentation", in the fruit's own juices only.
To acquire desirable flavors the fermentation process needs to be monitored very carefully. Undesirable and sour flavors can occur during this process. The mucilage removal should take 24 to 36 hours depending on temperature, enzymes and the thickness of the mucilage layer. Fermentation is assessed by feel and the slimy texture has acquired a rough or pebbly feel. After the fermenation is complete the coffee is then washed again in special washing machines.