During washed process, coffee harvested is taken to a receiving tank where water is pumped in order to push it down a funnel. “Floaters” – unripe cherries that float on the surface – are discarded.
After passing through the receiving tank and having floaters removed, the remaining cherries have their surrounding cherry skin and pulp mechanically separated by a machine.
The skin and pulp is collected to be used as fertilizer for the farms and pastures. The coffee is now comprised of the bean, surrounded by a layer of parchment (or pergamino), and covered in a sticky mucilage. Coffees then go to a mechanical demucilager to have their mucilage scrubbed off.
By this point in the processing, accounting for all the different microlots that must pass through each stage, it may be as late as 2AM. The coffee sits wet in another set of holding tanks, ready to be put to dry in the morning.