Unraveling the Wet Hulled Process:
The wet hulled process is primarily associated with coffee production in Indonesia, particularly Sumatra and Sulawesi. It is characterised by the partial removal of the parchment layer before the beans are fully dried, resulting in a distinct flavour profile that sets Indonesian coffees apart.
The Wet Hulled Journey:
1. Harvesting: Coffee cherries are hand-picked when they have reached their optimum ripeness, ensuring a well-developed flavour within the beans.
2. Wet Hulling: Unlike other methods where the parchment layer remains intact during drying, the wet hulled process involves removing the outer skin and most of the fruit pulp from the coffee cherries soon after harvesting. This partial removal exposes the coffee beans, which still have a significant portion of the mucilage and parchment layer attached.
3. Drying: After wet hulling, the coffee beans are spread out on drying beds or patios, typically in thin layers. Here, they are left to dry in the sun or using mechanical dryers until they reach a moisture content of around 12-15%. This drying stage is crucial as it further influences the flavours and characteristics of the beans.
4. Hulling and Sorting: Once the beans have dried to the desired moisture level, the remaining parchment layer is removed through hulling. This process is often done with a unique machine called a "huller," which can handle the softer, partially dried beans. The resulting green coffee beans, known as "hulled coffee," possess a distinct appearance and a unique earthy aroma.
5. Roasting and Brewing: The hulled coffee beans are then ready for roasting, where they undergo a carefully controlled process that brings out their unique flavours. Roasting enhances the boldness and earthiness of Indonesian coffees, resulting in a robust cup with a full body and low acidity. Finally, the roasted beans are ground and brewed to deliver a truly distinctive and memorable coffee experience.
Coffee processed using the wet hulled method often exhibits a complex and full-bodied flavour profile. It is characterised by earthy, herbal, and sometimes spicy notes, along with a low acidity. The wet hulled process infuses Indonesian coffees with a rich, unique character that resonates with coffee enthusiasts seeking bold and adventurous flavours.
The Wet Hulled Mystery:
The wet hulled process remains somewhat of a mystery, as it differs from other conventional processing methods. The specific combination of partial removal of parchment, the influence of the remaining mucilage, and the unique drying process contribute to the unmistakable flavours associated with Indonesian coffees. This enigmatic technique has become a hallmark of Indonesian coffee production, attracting connoisseurs who appreciate its distinctiveness.
The wet hulled process represents the essence of Indonesian coffee and showcases the rich and diverse flavours of the region. From its origins in Sumatra and Sulawesi to its popularity among coffee lovers worldwide, this traditional processing method offers a unique taste experience. The wet hulled process is a testament to the intricacies and artistry involved in coffee production, unveiling bold and robust flavours that captivate the senses. So, the next time you savour a cup of Indonesian coffee processed through the wet hulled method, take a moment to appreciate the journey of the beans and the remarkable flavours that have emerged from this traditional technique. Cheers to the wet hulled process and the captivating world of Indonesian coffee!