If you’re like most people, you don’t really consider how your coffee gets processed; all you really care about is scooping coffee in your coffee machine and enjoying the final result of a full-bodied, aromatic and delicious taste of coffee first thing in the morning.
Still, you might be surprised to know that there are typically three common methods used to get the coffee from “out there somewhere” into your cup. Each of those three different methods produces a specific flavor.
One of the most common coffee processing methods is known as the wet process. This process takes the acid out of a gourmet coffee flavors and results in a full-bodied, sometimes fruity essence. The wet processing method literally washes the pulp out of a coffee cherry to expose the coffee bean or seed. This is done through several different ways, including through fermenting – a fancy way of saying soaking – and by machine. After the coffee bean is removed from the coffee cherry, it’s dried.
Another common method is known as the drying process. In this method, the coffee cherry or seed is removed from the bulk of the cherry and placed in the sun to dry. While the seeds have been left to dry in the sun for several days, they are continually raked and spread out to ensure that they dry evenly. This process can take up to four weeks. This type of dry coffee processing produces coffee that is heavy bodied and smooth.
Last but not least is the semi-dry process, which produces an earthier, slightly acidic and heavy bodied coffee. This method is fairly new in the coffee industry and is most commonly practiced in countries like Indonesia and Brazil. This semi-drying process involves a process where the skin and bulk of the coffee cherry is wet ground and the seeds or coffee bean are then removed by a mechanical pulping machine. The coffee beans or seeds are then cleaned and dried.
You may not realize why you prefer one type of coffee over another, but now you know that it may be because of the specific coffee processing method used to make your preferred coffee based on taste, aroma, and body.