Aquapulp-process or mechanical demucilaging process, is yet another subdivided method of the wet-process method. Ripped cherries are first harvested and submerged in water to remove impurities and immature fruits as well as ensuring consistent ripe level across the fruits.
The cherries then run through the depulpers - machines that squeeze the cherries, to extract the bean from the rest of its body. Thereafter, the depulped beans will be placed in the mechanical demucilager machine to clean the beans by further removing any remaining sticky pulp as well as the mucilage. This method is essentially a faster, short-cut approach in removing the sticky fruit residue (mucilage) as the beans will be scrubbed against the machines instead of having to ferment and wash like the conventional wash-process. Furthermore, due to sustainability reasons, over the years Aquapulp-process has been gradually replacing conventional wet-processing methods.
After removing the mucilage, the beans will be dried through brick patios, raised beds or through a mechanical dryer. To ensure even and consistent drying, the beans will be turned regularly. What is left on the coffee beans then, will be a thin layer of skin known as the parchment skin; this skin will be removed through the last step which is also known as hulling.
Although the Aquapulp process is more environmentally friendly, there is a trade-off is in the taste of the coffee beans produced. By robbing the beans of the “fermenting and washing” step, it is essentially disallowing the beans to develop its flavours. Hence, this process takes away producer’s ability to influence the coffee flavour greatly.