Last two post were the origins of coffee and its family. Now I’m going to tell you how it actually became the full grown bean that you grind and make coffee with.
There are several processes and each coffee farm will do it their way. However, there are three main processes that make it easier for everyone in the coffee industry to understand what we’re talking about.
This involves leaving the entire coffee cherry to dry in the sun, allowing it to draw in all the flavours of the fruit. In order for the coffee cherries not to spoil, they are raked and turned throughout the day and covered at night or if there is rain or storms. It takes from 3 to 6 weeks until the moisture level is from 10-12%. After that it is hulled and sent off.
It is the most traditional method of processing coffee and it’s the most environmentally friendly since it does not use water. It originated in places where water was not easy to access and it works best in low humidity. There are also issues with this method like for instance: if the coffee cherries are not raked enough, they can spoil; and also the resulting beans are often inconsistent in flavour.
The flavours of this type of method turns out to be a full body, almost winey texture and also lasting and intense flavour.
In this method, the cherries are removed from the seeds before the drying process. Once this is done, the seeds are moved to a tank where the remaining mucilage is broken down by fermentation. Then, the seeds are washed again with water to remove the mucilage from the seeds. After this, the seeds are dried in the sun on patios, raised beds, or in machines. Once dry, they are ready to be sent off.
It is the most reliable in terms of consistency in flavour and the quickest. The issue is the amount of water that they use.
The body is lighter than the natural method and has a cleaner texture, with more acidity and more crisp flavours.