Processing Methods of Coffee
What is Coffee Processing? It is simply the way, that the seed is removed from the coffee cherry. Like any other fruit, coffee
cherries consist of layers. These include: outer skin, pulp, pectin layer, parchment, and silverskin – the last layer surrounding
two beans locked inside. The goal of processing is to get rid of these layers and get to the essence of the product, and then to
dry the bean to the optimal level. However, many desirable, interesting flavors come from the fruit, juice or pulp, and not
from the seed itself. And we want them to get into the bean! That is why processing is such a crucial and demanding task.
The ‘old’ and traditional methods of coffee processing
Processing techniques can be grouped into four categories: Wet Processing (Washed), Dry Processing (Natural,
Sun Dried), Pulped Natural Processing, and Semi-Washed Processing. However nowadays experimentation in
coffee has taken the coffee world by storm, and many new and innovative methods have been explored and
are being explored for the attributes that they can confer.
The processing method chosen, is mostly dependent on the habits developed in each country, the weather
patterns that may favor one processing method over another, and also the type of coffee that may develop a
better profile using a specific method. It will also depend on the environmental laws applicable in each
country. For Example in Costa Rica, Honey processed coffee is the norm (Pulped Natural) and they have
developed elaborate names and types of coffee such as Black Honey, Yellow Honey, White Honey coffees.
Ethiopia was mostly known for the Commercial Naturally Dried coffees, but since 1930s fully washed coffees
slowly developed in specific regions. Ethiopia has abundant water, hence choosing the fully washed process
seemed like a proper way forward but given the change of climate, maybe new methods and new rules have to