The Final Processing Stage – The Dry Mill


The dry mill is the final stage before your Westrock Coffee is ready to be sold by the farmers, shipped, roasted and packaged for you to brew at home.

What is dry milling?

RTC Washing Station-171 copyDry milling is the final stage green coffee goes through before it is sold and shipped to the roaster. This stage coincides with the work done at the wet mill. In fact, the coffee is immediately dried at a wet mill to prevent spoilage. The beans are directly placed onto large beds that are fully open to sunshine.

This process consists of farmers regulating the temperature and the timing of flipping the coffee beans. This process is closely monitored to ensure that the beans are not overly fermented from the wet milling process. After it sits in the sun, the coffee also sits in the open air under shaded awnings.

Once the green coffee is completely dry, it is still covered by the thick parchment layer that lays between the bean and mucilage that was removed at the wet mill. This stage can be completed by hand sorters or by employing Rwanda Trading Company’s dry mill employees to use a huller.

What is a huller?

A huller is a machine used at dry mills to expedite the process of removing the parchment from the green coffee and prepares it for the final sorting stages. Access to this equipment aids in larger, more efficient distribution of each farmer’s crop.

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What are the final sorting stages?

RTC Factory-222 copyIn the final sorting stage, the coffee is first processed using a gravity machine to further sort the beans by weight while removing any debris.  Traditionally, beans are hand-sorted, providing additional employment opportunities at origin.

A color sorter can be used for higher-end coffee to scan each individual bean for defects and separate the highest quality coffee.

Once the coffee goes through these final stages, it is ready to be sold and shipped to the natural state of Arkansas where your Westrock is roasted and packaged.

What is Rwanda Trading Company?

RTC Factory-137 copyWestrock is one of the few coffee companies in the United States that is able to call itself a fully vertically integrated coffee company. This means that Westrock is a part of the entire coffee process. In order to do this we have operations at origin like Rwanda Trading Company (RTC).

Since 2009, RTC has operated to increase the quality standards of Rwandan coffee while remaining completely focused on our farmer partners. By directly working with farmers, we are able to cultivate long-term relationships with the people who grow your Westrock Coffee. In turn, we are able to ensure high-quality coffee and create opportunities for farmers to grow their farming businesses.

Learn more about our farmer partners.

Every step of the process is important and is dependent on the work of the farmers who are experts at their craft. You’ll find Westrock immersed in coffee from crop to cup because there lies the opportunity for long-lasting change.

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Meet Our Farmer Partner, Christine