Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, and the way it's processed plays a significant role in determining its flavor, aroma, and body. In this post, we'll discuss the most popular types of coffee processing.
Washed Coffee Processing: The most common method used in specialty coffee production is washed coffee processing. The freshly harvested coffee cherries are sorted, washed, and fermented, leaving behind the coffee bean. The beans are then washed again, dried, and sorted, resulting in a clean, bright, and acidic coffee with a floral aroma.
Natural Coffee Processing: The oldest method used in coffee production is natural coffee processing, also known as dry processing. In this method, ripe coffee cherries are picked and left to dry in the sun. The coffee bean remains inside the cherry, and as the fruit dries, it imparts its flavor into the bean. This results in a sweet and fruity cup of coffee with a full body.
Honey Coffee Processing: A relatively new method that combines elements of both washed and natural processing is honey coffee processing, also known as pulped natural processing. In this method, the coffee cherries are pulped to remove the skin, but the mucilage is left intact. The beans are then dried with the mucilage still attached, giving the coffee a honey-like sweetness and a medium body.
Semi-Washed Coffee Processing: Semi-washed coffee processing, also known as semi-dry processing, is a method that combines elements of both washed and natural processing. In this method, the outer skin of the coffee cherry is removed, but the mucilage is left on the bean. The beans are then dried with the mucilage still attached, giving the coffee a fruity, sweet taste with a medium body.
Carbonic Maceration Coffee Processing: A relatively new method that involves fermenting coffee cherries in a controlled environment is Carbonic Maceration coffee processing. In this method, the cherries are placed in a tank filled with carbon dioxide, creating an anaerobic environment. The cherries are left to ferment for several days, and then the beans are washed, dried, and roasted. This process results in a unique, fruity, and complex cup of coffee.
Coffee processing is a crucial step in coffee production that can make or break the taste of your favorite beverage. Each method has its own unique flavor profile, and it's up to the coffee roasters and baristas to bring out the best in each type of coffee processing.