The Ultimate Coffee Glossary

Drying Coffee

In coffee production, what does it mean to dry coffee?

Drying coffee is a crucial step in coffee processing, where freshly harvested coffee cherries are spread out on raised beds, patios, or in drying machines to remove moisture. The aim is to reduce the moisture content from around 60% to 11-12% in green beans to prevent the growth of mould and preserve the quality of coffee during storage and transportation.
Drying times vary depending on the processing method, weather conditions, and altitude, but it typically takes between one to four weeks. Drying can also affect the flavour profile of coffee; slow drying preserves more acidity, while faster drying can enhance sweetness and body.
Over-drying or under-drying can cause defects, such as mould, sourness, or baked flavours, which can ruin the quality of coffee. Proper drying requires careful monitoring and attention to detail, such as rotating the beans and covering them during the hottest parts of the day. Drying beds or patios offer better air circulation and exposure to sunlight, which can improve the uniformity of drying and prevent fermentation. Drying machines can provide more consistent drying but are more expensive and can impart a smoky flavour if not used correctly. Buyers usually prefer coffee that has been dried on raised beds or patios, as they tend to have better quality and distinct flavour characteristics.
Powered by Notaku