Natural and Washed
Difference between natural and washed
Do you know that coffee cherry lives like a fruit (quite like a nectarine, plum, or cherry)? there are technically numerous processing methods out there, but today I will discuss two most popular processing methods, that is washed and natural(or so called dry processed). The coffee cherry has three layers to protect the bean = skin, mucilage and parchment.
First, in a washed coffee, after the coffee cherry being plucked from the tree, the layers are removed (washed) with machines, before being dried and shipped to roasters. Most use a mixture of water, gravity and squeezing to separate bean from fruit.
Natural processing is less common today, but it is still the most practiced coffee processing method in many dryer climate coffee-producing countries (For example Ethiopia). In contrast to washed, in a natural processed coffee, the whole coffee cherry is dried first before the fruit surrounding the bean is removed. So the coffee bean stay in contact with the fruit of the coffee cherry throughout the drying process. This allow the beans to absorb and take on some of the taste characteristics of the fruit.
In summary, some people say, that natural processed coffee taste fruitier and a heavier body feel, meanwhile washed coffee will have a cleaner mouthfeel with brighter, higher acidity and more of a “coffee” taste.
Which one do you prefer the most??