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Coffee processing methods

On the way from the fruity coffee cherry to the green coffee beans that you can buy from us, there is a lot of work. We explain what happens, what terms such as "washed", "natural" or "honey-processed" mean and how the coffees differ depending on the processing.

The picked coffee cherries have a thick layer of sweet red pulp. By the way, you will find this more and more often in our stores as tea infusion with the name Cascara. In it are two seeds (biologically, "coffee bean" is actually wrong), which must be dissolved from the meat and dried, so you can roast them then.

There are several procedures for this. As a rule, farmers choose the method that corresponds to their natural resources (eg water) or simply what they have learned. There is a lot that can go wrong and often the existence of the farmers depends on not making any mistakes in the processing. Due to the increasing demand for specialty coffees, however, there are more and more companies that are experimenting with the processing and in some cases achieving spectacular results.

Washed coffee

In this process, the pulp is removed after harvesting and the coffee beans without pulp are dried for about 4-10 days. This results in a very clear and clean taste in the coffee, at the same time also more acidic coffees.

Natural coffee

These beans, including the flesh, are dried in the sun and only then freed from the flesh. As a result, the beans take on sweetness and taste from the flesh. Coffees become sweeter and fruitier than washed coffees.

Mixed types

These include pulped-natural processing, semi-dry or semi-washed processing and honey-processed processing. These differ from each other, but the idea is always the same: the fruits are mechanically freed from a part of the flesh but the so-called mucilage remains around the beans during the drying process. This allows the coffee to develop its clarity and acidity, but at the same time has a pleasant sweetness, which often gives very balanced coffees. You can find more about acidity in coffee in a separate article.


Ingo Albrecht Kaffee

More questions? We're here for you.

Do you have any further questions about the roaster? I'm a trained roaster and a member of the Specialty Coffee Association and the Roasters Guild of Europe, working with the machine every day. Please contact me at any time.

Telephone +41 76 261 97 17 or Email ingo[at]roastrebels.com

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