Here is a bit more info…
Coffee processing is the step that separates the coffee bean from the coffee cherry and surrounding layers. There are several different processing methods.
- Washed (Fully Washed) Method: Washed processed coffees typically have clean, lively characteristics. In this method the coffee cherries are processed through a mill, which removes the fruit or pulp. The beans then are placed in a large vat of water to remove the surrounding gel-like sugary substance called mucilage. The coffee producers then dry the beans.
- Natural Processing Method: In the natural method coffee producers dry the coffee cherries in the sun without removing any of the fruit. The coffee cherries are then processed in a mill to remove the dried fruit and covering layers. The natural process can result in coffee that is very unique with strong fruit flavors like blueberry and typically has a fuller body.
- Honey Method: In the honey method, coffee producers mill the coffee to remove the fruit. Immediately after the milling process the beans are dried. This process leaves a small amount of fruit and mucilage surrounding the drying coffee bean, adding some unique flavors. Coffee producers from Costa Rica have recently popularized the honey process.
- Semi-Washed (Wet-Hulled) Method: Coffee producers in Indonesia commonly use the semi-washed or wet-hulled method. In this method coffee producers mill, wash, and briefly dry the coffee. However, before the drying process is complete producers remove the protective parchment layer that surrounds the coffee bean. In all other methods the parchment layer remains surrounding the bean until the coffee is ready to be transported. This method causes the unique bold flavors common in Sumatra coffees.
After coffee is processed and dried it undergoes several additional steps, is packaged, and shipped to its final destination. We are now several steps closer to coffee roasting and eventually a delicious cup of coffee!
Natural Coffee Recommendation:
In this episode I recommend one of my favorite natural processed coffees with lovely blueberry flavors. This coffee is called Kilenso from Coava Coffee in Portland, Oregon. You can order this coffee and try it for yourself HERE.