The process of coffee production has seen significant advancements over the years, with the pulping stage being a crucial component. This article delves into the historical references of coffee pulping, highlighting key inventions and innovations that have shaped the industry.

The Drum Pulper: A Breakthrough in 1850

In 1850, British inventor John Walker revolutionized coffee processing by patenting the drum pulper. This innovative device employed a rolling pin covered in copper bulbed ridges, akin to non-slip copperplate flooring. Cherries were fed into the pulper from a hopper, where the rotating drum’s bulbs facilitated the pulping process against an adjustable pulping bar. Operating at around 120 revolutions per minute, this mechanism introduced efficiency to the pulping process (J.N. Wintgens, 2004, pg. 719).

Precise Calibration for Optimal Performance

Parchment, a crucial byproduct, was directed into channels via a meticulously calibrated pulping channel. Simultaneously, most of the pulp was expelled on the opposite side of the pulper. Videos from Penagos demonstrate the meticulous calibration process, ensuring that the drum maintains its efficiency without any unnecessary friction against the channel. Notably, larger cherries necessitated a wider gap between the pulping bar and the drum, showcasing the adaptability of this technology (“Barista Hustle”).

In the pulping house, a tale unfolds,
Of ancient gears and stories untold.
I am the pulper, weathered and wise,
A witness to time, beneath the skies.

John Walker, my godfather dear,
In days of old, he forged me here.
Midst the Industrial revolution’s sway,
In 1850, I saw the light of day.

From England’s shores, my journey began,
To Ceylon’s fields, to aid each plan.
To free the cherries, their skins let go,
So they could dry, in the sun’s warm glow.

John Gordon, in London’s heart,
Crafted my limbs, each vital part.
In McKinnon’s forge, in Aberdeen’s keep,
My iron frame, in slumber deep.

A hopper head, where cherries rest,
Drawn into the spinning chest.
Copper-clad, with ridges strong,
Squeezing cherries, a rhythmic song.

Gravity guides, the skin takes flight,
Fermentation, the next grand sight.
Then comes the cleanse, a tender touch,
Embracing cherries, I love so much.

I spin and squeeze with gentle might,
In pulping’s dance, I find delight.
For every cherry that comes to me,
Becomes a part of coffee’s legacy.

Ancient Techniques in Yemen

Roque’s account of ancient coffee culture and preparation methods in Yemen provides a fascinating glimpse into early coffee processing. Berries were allowed to dry on trees until their outer covering shriveled. Subsequently, matured fruits were collected, sun-dried on mats, and husked using wooden or stone rollers. The beans then underwent further sun-drying and a winnowing process, employing large fans to separate the beans from their husks.

The Dawn of Plantation Machinery

The transition from primitive methods to more sophisticated machinery marked a pivotal moment in coffee production. The West Indian wet method of cleaning berries emerged as a significant advancement. English inventors like William Panter and James Henckel secured patents for husking and drying devices, while American innovators like Nathan Reed and Roswell Abbey introduced their own coffee hullers. These inventions paved the way for a new era in coffee processing.

Today coffee pulpers not only use a fraction of the water used in the earlier days, but are equipped with “sensible discs” that discard the unripe cherries before they are pulped . These two innovations has reduced the water usage and help the farmer labour cost too.

So in brief,

The evolution of coffee pulping machinery showcases the ingenuity and innovation that has propelled the coffee industry forward. From the humble beginnings of wooden and stone rollers to the sophisticated drum and disk pulpers, each invention has contributed to the efficiency and quality of coffee production. These historical references serve as a testament to the continuous quest for excellence in the world of coffee processing.