What is processing?
Processing – or the processing method – is simply the way in which a coffee producer ensures that a fresh coffee berry is processed into a green coffee kernel (or coffee bean). It involves many operations, all of which fall under the term “processing”. A coffee berry consists of a number of layers, all of which must be removed before the coffee can be packaged and shipped. In addition, green coffee that has just been harvested has a high moisture content – if coffee is packaged too wet, coffee will age faster and the risk of mold is higher. So it has to be dried first.
Processing is therefore primarily a necessity in order to produce coffee. But in recent years, the way coffee is processed has also become increasingly important for coffee drinkers, as these processing methods have a major impact on taste. We are increasingly opting for natural or full washed coffee because that’s where your preference lies. Where does the difference in taste come from?
Let’s start with Pulped Natural, also called unwashed coffee.
With Honey Process, the mucilage (a slimy substance found under the flesh) remains around the beans, making them sticky and slimy to the touch, like the structure of honey. This is how the term Honey Process originated.
Yellow, Red or Black Honey what is the difference?
So now that we know what Honey Process is, it is time to look at the different types of Honey. These descriptions may be rare on coffee packaging, but you will find that producers and exporters refer to coffee as white honey, yellow honey, gold honey, red honey and black honey.
Simply put, the white and yellow honey have less mucus left over after being mechanically washed. On the other hand, there is much more mucus left over from coffee with gold, red and black honey. This leads to a fuller coffee.
As with the “honey” process, the beans still have part of the flesh of the berry around them during the drying process. However, the beans go through the “hulling” machine where the skin that surrounds the coffee beans is removed when the coffee has not yet completely dried ,(25-35% moisture content). The white, green beans are then dried in the sun until they reach a moisture content of 11-14% .
Right opposite Pulped Natural coffee is the Fully Washed coffee. Contrary to a fairly seemingly simple unwashed method, the washed method has many different variations. Moreover, there are also blending formulas: semi-washed coffee. Brazil, for example, is known for its pulped natural semi-washed coffee.
What is the Swiss Water Process?
The SWP method is a way to obtain decaffeinated coffee. No chemicals are used to extract the caffeine from the coffee beans.