We always sun-dried our coffee beans but I know many bigger plantations in Hawaii that machine dry their beans.  Can you taste a difference?

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Stick with sun drying! Especially when you have a good, well cared for crop. It makes the coffee smoother and takes any bitterness out. The argument is one of economical reasons foremost: Wet fermentation and sun drying is more labor and time intensive. But on a molecular level, you give the bean structure time to chemically adjust and stabilize, instead of rushing them thru the process. Hence there are fewer bitter tannins and chlorophyll left in the green beans. Yet anybody owning electric drying machinery will insist there would be no difference in cupping: For the large processors it is simply cheaper than paying raking-man days. They don't really want to have this used as an argument to be considered by customers.

In quality control you have to be careful though! Keeping the parchments moisture below 12.5% is essential or ochratoxins/invisible mold will grow on the parchment and green beans. That's dangerous stuff which survives even the roasting.

Your fellow Kona coffee farmer:-)

Congrats to another great Ka'u coffee festival, btw!
Great reply!
Thanks

Joachim Oster said:
Stick with sun drying! Especially when you have a good, well cared for crop. It makes the coffee smoother and takes any bitterness out. The argument is one of economical reasons foremost: Wet fermentation and sun drying is more labor and time intensive. But on a molecular level, you give the bean structure time to chemically adjust and stabilize, instead of rushing them thru the process. Hence there are fewer bitter tannins and chlorophyll left in the green beans. Yet anybody owning electric drying machinery will insist there would be no difference in cupping: For the large processors it is simply cheaper than paying raking-man days. They don't really want to have this used as an argument to be considered by customers.

In quality control you have to be careful though! Keeping the parchments moisture below 12.5% is essential or ochratoxins/invisible mold will grow on the parchment and green beans. That's dangerous stuff which survives even the roasting.

Your fellow Kona coffee farmer:-)

Congrats to another great Ka'u coffee festival, btw!

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