The predominant method of processing coffee in the world is called the Washed Process. The coffee cherry is allowed to ripen on the tree, which depending on the varietal of coffee, can show as red, yellow, or orange in color.
Once harvested, it is then put through a depulper, which will be done either on the farm or taken to a mill and depulped there. This machine separates the fruit from the coffee beans. The coffee is then left with mucilage / small parts of fruit still covering the seed.
The beans are channeled into fermenting tanks that are then filled with fresh water and left to soak for 12 – 48 hours. This allows microbes already present in mucilage to eat itself away and remove all the pulp left on the coffee bean.
The coffee is then carted off to dry in the sun in thin layers. The beds are meticulously cared for, raked, and tested to ensure even drying throughout. Uneven drying can result in rot, variable flavors, and a lesser cup quality.
Coffees processed this way tend to have milder flavor & body characteristics, with a brighter acidity.