We are supporting the use of small Colombian "ecopulpers" (manufactured by Gaviota and Penagos) in our coffee projects in Central America. This technology helps conserve water resources both upstream (near-total elimination of water use) and downstream (little messy wastewater to treat), but we still don't have a clear picture of the impact on cup quality.
Lots of people assure me that the quality is "the same" but it doesn't seem to me that simply omitting a process as fundamental as fermentation can have no net impact on cup quality. This year we will be working with farmer organizations using these machines to segment coffee processed on this equipment so we can get side-by-side physical quality and cupping reports for traditional wet-milled coffee and the ecopulper coffee. Meantime, wondering if anyone out there has field-based evidence on this.
A topic for the GCQRI, perhaps?