Natural or washed coffee - the type of preparation
For many coffee drinkers, the terms natural or washed coffee are still foreign words. Although the method of preparation has a big influence on the aroma and can help us choose the perfect variety.
What is meant by coffee preparation?
Coffee preparation, also known as processing, refers to the processing steps that the coffee bean goes through on its way from the picked coffee cherry to the unroasted coffee bean.
If the coffee cherry is not processed immediately after harvesting, it will begin to ferment uncontrollably. This has a negative effect on the taste and quality of the bean.
What happens during coffee preparation?
When harvested, the coffee bean is surrounded by the pulp, also called pulp, and the mucilage, a slimy protective layer.
Since the coffee bean must be dry for roasting, it is necessary to separate it from the pulp and dry it.
There are different procedures that are typically used depending on the country of origin.
We will introduce you to the two most common methods.
Natural coffee, also called dry processed coffee, has a long tradition. This process is the first choice, especially in dry areas such as Ethiopia or Brazil. The reason for this is that no water is required and processing is relatively simple.
After harvesting, the coffee cherries are simply sun-dried on drying beds or cement floors. Meanwhile they have to be turned again and again until after approx. have dried completely for three weeks.
The sugar molecules in the mucilage pass into the coffee bean during the drying time - this creates a fruity-sweet aroma.
They also ensure a lower acid content and a fuller body of the coffee, which ultimately gives you a more intense mouthfeel when drinking.
Once the bean has developed its characteristic central bar, drying is complete.
Then the bean only needs to be removed from the pulp and mucilage and is ready to be transported to the next processing step - roasting.
So if you are looking for a slight fruity sweetness in your coffee, you should choose a natural coffee.
A lot of water is required for the washed coffee process.
You are probably wondering why, for the sake of the environment, the natural process is not always used. Regions where there is a lot of precipitation or too little sunlight rely on processing with water. The coffee cherry is very sensitive and quickly becomes moldy and moldy under the wrong conditions.
In the washed process, the pulp is removed from the coffee cherry immediately after harvest. This is done with the help of water pressure using so-called wet mills.
The last pulp residues are then removed in fermentation tanks and the bad coffee beans that float on the surface are sorted out. The gentle fermentation creates a creamy, soft taste.
The coffee beans are then dried for up to ten days. However, the thin parchment skin that surrounds the coffee bean is only removed shortly before export. This is how we ensure that all flavors remain protected.
Washed coffees taste more complex and have a milder body. In addition, the fine acidity of the raw bean is retained, which leaves a balanced, floral, sometimes even tea-like taste.
Conclusion: Natural or washed coffee
You now know the differences between the two preparation processes and perhaps this can help you decide between natural or washed coffee.
If you want it to be an unusual moment of enjoyment with intense aromas and fruity notes, try out a natural processed coffee.
If you would rather be on the safe side, let yourself be enchanted by the delicate and complex aroma of one of our washed coffees.
Recommendation: Try our Washed Espresso Fortissiomo.
It enchants you with a complex aroma of malt and marzipan and a pleasantly light acidity.