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Processing

Once coffee is harvested from the tree, the fruit covering the coffee bean is removed a mill.  These mills can be small and housed at the farm, or they can be large and shared by multiple farms in the area.  Milling looks very different from country to country.  Methods of removing the fruit vary. Each method affects the coffee's flavor, body, acidity, and overall quality.

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. Fermentation breaks down the pulp, making 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.  However, the region and soil the coffee is grown in also affect a coffee's flavor.  In general, washed coffees will allow for some, but not all, 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 this time, the fruit imparts some of its sugars on the bean. To keep the fruit from spoiling, the beans are constantly turned. The dried coffee is then milled, separating the now dry fruit from the bean. Our Ethiopian coffee is an excellent example of a naturally processed coffee.  It's fully body and sweet, fruity flavor showcase how the fruit of a bean can play a large part in its flavors.

 

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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