The Ultimate Coffee Glossary

Dry Milling

What is Dry Milling?

Dry milling is the process by which coffee cherries, which have been previously dried, are transformed into green coffee beans. The dry mill is a facility where the dried cherries are received and sorted based on their quality. The process involves the removal of the outer layers of the cherry, including the dried fruit and parchment, to extract the green coffee bean. This is typically done using a machine called a huller. Once the green coffee beans are extracted, they are sorted based on their size, weight, and density, and then graded according to their quality. The final step of dry milling is bagging the green coffee beans in preparation for shipment.
Dry milling can be highly mechanised, as in some larger coffee-producing countries like Ethiopia, where large mills can process large volumes of coffee beans at once. Alternatively, the process can be much simpler, as in countries like Yemen, where coffee is often processed on a smaller scale. In either case, dry milling is an essential step in the production of high-quality green coffee beans, and it plays a crucial role in determining the final flavour profile of the coffee.

What is a Dry Mill?

A dry mill is a facility in the coffee supply chain that receives dried coffee cherry and mechanically separates the coffee bean from the dried fruit and parchment layer. The facility can range from highly mechanized to very simple, depending on the region and level of technology available. The dry mill is an essential step in the processing of green coffee beans, as it removes the final layer of dried fruit and parchment from the bean, leaving only the green coffee bean for roasting. After the coffee is sorted and graded, it is then packaged for export to coffee roasters and importers around the world.
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