The semi wash method is one of the post-harvest coffee bean processes. In the previous article, we also explained how coffee is processed by dry and wet methods.

Well, to complete your knowledge, we also explain how to process post-harvest coffee beans in this semi wash method. Stay tuned!

Semi wash, Indonesia’s original post-harvest coffee bean processing that goes global

As we all know, coffee undergoes several stages before those beans are served in your cup. What’s particularly intriguing is the post-harvest process of coffee fruit after picking.

The method employed in processing coffee can significantly influence the quality and flavor profile of the final coffee product, and the semi-wash process is no exception.

Let’s get to know the post-harvest process: Semi Wash.

You need to know that this one method actually comes from Indonesia, to be precise North Sumatra (Sumut). This processing was first done by farmers in Lintong Nihuta, Humbang Hasundutan Regency.

According to Jonsen, Head of the Downstream Industry Compartment and Head of Barista Trainer of AEKI or the Indonesian Coffee Exporters Association of North Sumatra, said that initially this tradition was only to facilitate the processing process because the Lintong Ni Huta region is a cold area with thick humidity. In the end, it was recognized as one of the best methods for processing coffee beans. This method does provide a clear body.

Read also: 3 Coffee Bean Processing Methods, Resulting in Unique Flavors

Not only that, this method can also add value to coffee marketing. Even the richness of North Sumatra’s coffee is not limited to the diversity of quantity and variety, but there is also a specialty in the processing process that is part of a marketable tradition.

In essence, this process is faster than the full wash method, which means that farmers can get immediate income from the sale of their coffee.

For the processing process, see our explanation below.

Semi wash method

In short, this coffee processing method is a combination of the dry and wet process methods. At this stage, the coffee beans are dried along with the mucilage to produce the highest quality coffee.

Semi wash coffee processing, a Sumut tradition that goes global.

Read also: Dry Process Coffee: Dry Process Coffee

Semi wash itself does not involve quite as many stages as full wash, let’s just say that this method does not use the washing method on coffee beans. When it comes to coffee beans, at first glance it may look the same between the two, but the semi wash process has a clearer body and has the potential to be served as espresso.

Among farmers, this method is also known as wet milling, as the process does not require much water.

Stripping process

The beginning of the processing itself is done by stripping the skin of ripe cherries or separating the coffee beans with a pulper machine, this is called the pulping process.

Back to the process, then the peeled coffee will be left in a sack for about one night to remove the mucus that is still attached to the coffee.

Before entering the drying stage, coffee cherries that are still slimy will be cleaned with water. Only then will the coffee be semi-dried in the sun.

For information, the coffee cherry or coffee fruit consists of a pulp part consisting of skin, skin meat, parchment, and sap layer (has a natural content that is like alcohol).

The pupl layer greatly affects the characteristics of the coffee.

Drying process

After the above post-harvest coffee bean processing stages, the coffee beans will be dried under the hot sun.

There are actually two types of drying that are often done by coffee farmers. The first type is drying on the ground with a tarpaulin, and the second type is applying a drying bed with a mesh base.

As for how long the coffee beans are dried, this is adjusted according to the ambient humidity of the drying region.

Of course, both require turning the beans over so that the underside is equally exposed to the sun. If drying on the floor is enough to use a scraper to turn it over, the drying bed needs a lot of labor to turn it over in order to catch up with the drying time.

Apart from the two types of drying above, here are the steps in drying.

  • Coffee that is still in a semi-dry state will be stripped of its horn skin with a machine called a huller and the process itself is called hulling.
  • The hulling process will produce green beans that are still semi-dry. Then, the green beans will be dried in the sun until the moisture content reaches 12 – 13 percent, for approximately 2 – 3 days.
  • In other words, two times of drying are required in this semi wash process, namely when the coffee is still in the form of grain and when the coffee is completely peeled(green bean).
  • After that, the processing is completed.

Coffee resulting from this semi wash process will produce coffee with a thick body, lower acidity, and quite intense sweetness.

Well, that’s an interesting explanation of the post-harvest coffee bean processing process with the semi wash method.

The obvious difference between this method and a full wash is the amount of water used, and of course the resulting flavor will be different.

Also read: Here’s the Wet Method Coffee Processing: Wet Process You Need to Know

Full wash tends to produce a light coffee body and acidity, while semi wash tends to be thick. Now that you know how they differ, which coffee processing method do you want to try?

That of course goes back to your own taste. Hopefully our explanation has given you additional knowledge about the world of coffee!

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