Coffee lovers around the world appreciate the unique flavors and aromas that come from their favorite beans. But did you know that the various coffee processing methods have a profound impact on the final cup? In this blog post, we will delve into the world of coffee processing, exploring the distinct techniques used to create your beloved brews.

First of all, what is coffee processing? Coffee processing is an intricate and delicate journey that transforms the humble coffee cherry into the beloved beverage we all enjoy. From harvesting and depulping to fermentation, drying, and roasting, each step contributes to the distinctive taste and aroma of your daily cup of coffee. There are however, several different methods to get from a freshly harvested cherry, to a dried coffee bean, ready to be roasted - all of which can have a profound impact on end result.



Washed coffee processing, also known as wet processing, is one of the most common methods used to extract coffee beans from the cherry. After harvesting, the cherries are depulped, and the beans are separated from the mucilage through fermentation. This process of removing pulp before drying results in a cleaner, brighter cup of coffee, highlighting the natural acidity and floral notes of the beans. Washed coffees are favored for their clarity and vibrant flavors, making them a popular choice among specialty coffee enthusiasts.



In natural processing, the coffee cherries are laid out in the sun to dry, with the bean still inside the fruit. This extended exposure to the cherry imparts fruity and sweet flavors to the beans, creating a distinctly bold and full-bodied cup. With natural process, it allows the sugars of the cherry to infuse into the beans, resulting in a cup with pronounced notes of berries, tropical fruits, and wine-like characteristics. Natural processed coffees are often associated with a heavier mouthfeel and an overall sweetness that captivates the taste buds.



Honey coffee processing strikes a balance between washed and natural methods. After depulping, the beans are left to dry with varying degrees of the sticky mucilage still attached. The amount of mucilage left on the beans determines the level of sweetness and complexity in the final cup. Yellow, red, or black honey processes represent different mucilage levels, with each offering a unique flavor profile. Honey processed coffees are celebrated for their sweetness and the subtle fruitiness that enhances the overall coffee experience.



As you can see, coffee processing methods play a significant role in shaping the flavors and aromas of your daily cup. From the clean and bright profiles of washed coffees to the fruity and bold notes of natural and honey processed beans, each method offers a distinct and delightful coffee experience. The next time you sip your favorite brew, take a moment to appreciate the craftsmanship and expertise that goes into bringing out the unique qualities of the coffee beans through these diverse processing techniques.

July 18, 2023 — Jesse McCann