Updated: Jan 17, 2021
It is very possible that you have heard or seen words such as 'Natural', 'Washed' and 'Semi-washed' being used to describe coffee. In this segment of the FB&Co blog, we want to dive a little deeper into what fermentation processes these words are describing, and more importantly how they affect the coffee's taste profile.
The natural processing of coffee starts with the fresh harvest, Once harvested, the coffee cherry is laid out on raised or flat beds and allowed to naturally dry in order to separate the seed from the pulp. In every other coffee process, the outer cherry is de-pulped (removed) straight away, leaving exposed the green, ripe coffee bean (The next stage would be to wash or semi wash the bean - Hence the name of the other processes!).
The coffee bean and cherry is laid out on flat beds to allow time for bacteria and yeast to metabolize the natural sugars in the coffee bean. The beans are usually laid out until the moisture content hits about 10% to 12% before it is subsequently de-pulped and the rich flavored coffee bean extracted.
As the coffee bean is allowed to ferment inside of its native cherry, it acquires an amazing wealth of rich fruity and syrupy flavours accompanied by a full body. This is due to the fact that the coffee bean more time to interact with it's natural sugars. By allowing the coffee bean to naturally ferment inside the cherry, the taste profile truly represents the taste of the natural coffee bean and cherry combined. However, as it is hard to consistently mimic the ideal conditions for perfect natural drying, growers must carefully dry the coffee or else the bean will over ripen , and lead to some funky flavours down the line!
As a result of natural processing, you can expect a caramelized like sweetness with a medium fruit like acidity with chocolate & toasted almond undertones.
This process is particularly popular in South America, with a lot of blended coffee's utilizing it's distinct taste for the body of the coffee. Our Brazil Mogiana bean is an example of a natural coffee.
All of that amazing flavour into our Signature blend, with two other coffee bean types to go !? Pretty amazing right?
Check out this awesome video below for some more information!
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