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Processing

Once coffee is harvested from the tree, the fruit is removed at a small mill on the farm or at a larger mill shared by other farms. This can look very different depending on the country and particular method of removing the coffee bean from the fruit and the results can be just as unique. Different methods affect the flavor, body, acidity, and overall quality of the coffee.

Wet process coffee, also known as washed coffee, involves removing the skin and fruit from the cherry using machinery. The pulp remains on the bean long enough to begin fermentation which breaks down the pulp and makes it much easier to remove. The bean is washed to remove any remaining pulp and then set out to dry immediately to avoid molding or further fermentation. Flavor profiles of washed coffees can range from floral to nutty, but can be quite divers depending on growing region and the soil they grow in.  In general, washed coffees will allow for some of the distinctive flavors of a particular farm to come through.

Natural processed coffees, also known as dry processed coffees, tend to offer a heavier body and sweeter flavors due to the bean remaining in its fruit as it dries. This can takes 7 to 14 days, depending on the weather, during which time the fruit imparts some of its sugars on the bean. The beans have to be turned consistently during this process to keep the fruit from spoiling. The dried coffee is then milled to remove the dried fruit. Our Ethiopian coffee exhibits some strong qualities of a natural processed coffee, with its sweet fruity flavor and full body.

 

Honey process is a hybrid of wet and dry, where the skin is removed, but rather than fermenting the pulp, it is set out to dry which causes the pulp to become a sticky honey-like coating around the bean which is where the name comes from.  Once dry, the pulp is removed. Due to the sticky quality of this process, bits of dried pulp can remain on the bean and cause the parchment to stick to the bean as well. All of these factors have an impact of the final profile of coffee. Often honey-processed coffees have sweetness from remaining in contact with fruit, but less acidity than wet processed coffees.

 



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