WASHED VS. NATURAL PROCESS COFFEE
What's the difference? How do they taste? What other coffee processing methods are there? Learn more below.
OUR GUIDE TO COFFEE PROCESSING
If you're a coffee lover, then you may know that there are different ways to process coffee. Each type of coffee process produces a unique flavor and mouthfeel.
We will compare and contrast each coffee process to help you understand the difference between them! To get started, lets compare the two most common coffee processes: natural and washed.
COMPARING WASHED AND NATURAL COFFEES
Learn about the two most common coffee processes in this short video below.
WHAT IS WASHED PROCESS COFFEE?
Washed coffee processing is similar to natural processing, but organic matter is stripped off of the coffee bean within days of the coffee cherry being plucked from the tree and then washed with water before they are dried. This removes any impurities and gives the coffee a cleaner taste.
WHAT IS NATURAL PROCESS COFFEE?
Natural coffee processing is the oldest and most traditional method. The coffee beans are left to dry in the sun, which gives them a unique flavor.
In the most basic sense, "Natural" processed coffees are coffees dried in the fruit. “Natural” is the most popular term for the whole in-cherry drying, but you may also hear these coffees called dry-process, traditioal-dried, sun-dried or cherry-dried.
WHAT OTHER COFFEE PROCESSES EXIST?
Read on to learn more about carbonic maceration, honey process, semi-washed coffees, and anaerobic coffee processing.
WHAT IS CARBONIC MACERATION?
Carbonic maceration is a relatively new coffee processing method that is becoming increasingly popular. With this method, the coffee beans are fermented in a carbon dioxide-rich environment. This gives the coffee a fruity flavor and a light body. These coffees are commonly pulped after fermenting and then dried in parchment. Carbonic maceration is also a popular practice in wine making.
WHAT IS HONEY PROCESS COFFEE?
This process refers to coffee that is de-pulped at a wet mill but usually bypasses fermentation tanks and washing channels. This leaves a bit of sticky fruity mucilage still clinging to the parchment. Varying colors of honey are chosen to vaguely indicate the amount of fruit left on the seed while it dries, from most to least: black, red, yellow, white.
WHAT IS SEMI-WASHED COFFEE?
Semi-washed coffee is processed using a combination of washing and natural drying methods. This results in a coffee with a balanced flavor.
WHAT IS ANAEROBIC COFFEE PROCESSING?
Anaerobic coffee processing is done in an oxygen-free environment. This allows the coffee to develop more complex flavors. However, it is also more difficult to control, so it is not as common as other coffee processing methods.