Wet hulled coffee processing, sometimes referred to as Giling Basah - is almost done exclusively in Indonesia where the climate does not allow for the same drying opportunities as other hotter countries. Following on from last week's edition on Sumatran coffee, we thought it would be great to dive deeper into this process and how it creates fantastic coffees.
Sumatran coffee beans are one of the most popular in the world, mainly because of their unique taste. Sumatran coffee has a chocolatey and earthy flavour which is mostly attributed to the way it’s produced. The processing method is called Giling Basah, meaning “wet hulling”.
Indonesian farmers traditionally produce the coffee from start to finish. Firstly, the coffee cherries are removed from the tree when they are still quite wet. Sumatra’s weather doesn’t allow for the same drying process as in other countries. Farmers usually have about 4 hours of drying time before it starts raining. That’s why they only dry coffee until it reaches 50% moisture content. The cherries are then transported to a wet hulling machine. This machine uses friction to dry the coffee furthermore and removes its protective coating. All of this helps ferment the beans and create the distinctive earthy flavour.
What many people don’t know is that women are considered to be the backbone of the production process. As a matter of fact, about 80% of the Sumatra coffee farmers are women. Though many would say that they lack any actual training in harvesting techniques, these women have enormous experience and have been doing this work for generations!
How awesome is that ! Check out this video made by cafe imports on YouTube on Wet hulled processing!