The Ultimate Coffee Glossary

Coffee Factory

What is a coffee Factory?

In the context of coffee cultivation and processing, a factory typically refers to a coffee mill or wet mill, where fresh coffee cherry is brought for wet-processing. The process of wet-processing involves removing the skin and pulp of the cherry to reveal the coffee bean, which is then fermented and washed to remove any remaining mucilage. The purpose of the factory is to process the coffee cherry into green coffee beans that are ready for export.
In Kenya, the term "factory" is used instead of "wet mill" to describe this processing facility. This can cause confusion for those unfamiliar with the local terminology. In other parts of the world, such as Latin America, the same facility may be referred to as a "beneficio". In Rwanda and some other African countries, the wet mill is called a "washing station".
Regardless of the name used, the factory is a crucial component of the coffee supply chain as it plays a significant role in determining the quality of the coffee produced. Factors such as the quality of the cherry received, the processing methods employed, and the attention to detail during processing can all impact the final cup quality of the coffee. Coffee producers and buyers alike pay close attention to the processing methods employed at the factory in order to ensure that the coffee meets their quality standards.
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