Types of Coffee Processing
Processing coffee is the act of removing the layers of skin, pulp, mucilage, and parchment that surround a coffee bean—the raw ingredient that the farmer will sell. How a grower chooses to process the coffee will have a profound impact on how that coffee.
Natural / Dry
Farmers wash the coffee cherries and then dry them in the sun. The most flavorful coffees are often naturally processed.
Wet / Washed
The cherry is pulped from the coffee beans by a machine that removes the outer layer of skin (the remaining is fermented in water and washed off after a few days). This creates a much fruitier flavor than the dry processed bea. Specialty coffees use this method, as it produces the highest quality coffees.
Honey / Fully Washed
Tends to add sweet notes to the coffee because some of the mucilage of the fruit remains on the bean after the skin and pulp are removed through water and fermentation. This process is used for much Arabica coffee processing.