Coffee Bean Processing

Processing Methods 101

Or How Simple Processing Methods Can Change a Coffee’s Flavour

It may seem inconsequential, but what happens to coffee beans from the time they are picked from the tree to the time they are ready for roasting has a significant impact on their flavour. 

Here’s a rundown of the three most popular coffee processing methods, and why you would use one over the other. 

Natural Process

Naturally processed coffee beans are picked from the tree and allowed to dry on a sunbed with all their five natural layers of skin.

The natural process gives it a full-bodied, rich and aromatic flavour, 

Try our natural single origin: Brazil Mantiqueira

Washed Process 

The bean is picked from the tree and then pulped, removing all layers of flesh, skin and mucilage (the layer surrounding the coffee seeds, a sticky, sugary substance) through the pulping process. It then gets fermented, washed and dried on drying beds. 

This processing method gives a clean, mild acidity and bodied flavour. 

Try our washed single origins: Guatemala Huehuetenago and PNG Maubesse Organic

Pulp Natural

Sitting somewhere in between natural and washed, with the pulp natural mucilage from around the coffee is kept on as it dries. 

Pulp natural processing results in a sweet, caramel-type flavour.

These processing methods are used to give beans their unique taste, so there is certainly no right or wrong around which is used.

Coffee Max stock a wide variety of natural, washed and pulp natural processed coffees – check them out in our store

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