How a coffee bean is processed has a BIG impact on the taste of the coffee in your cup. The two most common methods are washed and natural.
With a washed coffee, the organic matter is taken off the bean immediately and the beans are washed to remove any sticky mucilage before being dried.
With a natural processed coffee, the coffee cherry is dried first before the fruit around the bean is removed. The bean has more time to interact with the natural sugars from the cherry.
Because of this, naturals tend to have more fruit and fermented flavours. Some might say ‘funky’. Washed coffees, on the other hand, will have a brighter taste, with a higher acidity and a cleaner mouthfeel.
Growers are experimenting with different processing methods, constantly looking for ways to create new and exciting flavours in the cup. More on that coming soon!