Skip to content

Trending Now

Popular Products

Soul of the South Blend Soul of the South Blend
Soul of the South Blend
Salt Bush, Cedar & Caramel This seasonal blend is our tribute to the Royal National Park, a place which continues to inspire us with its natural beauty and soulful presence. The coffees selected offer a hint of the National Park’s provocative aromas and flavours....
From $15.00
From $15.00
End of the Line - Cronulla Beach Blend End of the Line - Cronulla Beach Blend
End of the Line - Cronulla Beach Blend
Notes of Milk Chocolate, Strawberry & Lychee. With flavours of milk chocolate, strawberry and lychee, End of the Line will take you on a flavour-filled journey from the veryfirst sip… We wanted this blend to be sweet and light, with fruity notes that remind...
From $20.00
From $20.00
White Knight Espresso Blend - Coffee Beans Online Australia
White Knight Espresso Blend
Our flagship award winning espresso blend and has been a staple since we opened in 2008. We’re proud of our blend and we dedicate a lot of time each week to ensure White Knight’s quality and consistency. The components of the blend evolve seasonally...
From $15.00
From $15.00
Hokey Pokey Espresso Blend Hokey Pokey Espresso Blend
Hokey Pokey Espresso Blend
Silky vanilla and rich honeycomb Hokey Pokey is our latest espresso blend made for cafes and home baristas. The deep flavours of the blend are wonderfully highlighted with your milk of choice. And when enjoyed as an espresso or long black it’s exquisite and...
From $15.00
From $15.00
0 items

How specialty coffee is processed

by Dom Majdandzic 03 Jan 2018
Coffee needs to be processed after it is picked from the tree and a great deal of effort, technology and science goes into creating coffee flavour profiles for the specialty coffee industry. In this article we want to provide an overview of the four common processing styles we regularly see in specialty coffee. Please note, that passionate producers (the farmers) who seek to continually improve quality, fastidious roasters (us) and conscientious consumers (you) who seek new experiences, together inspire ongoing innovation and development of new processes which can only take us to new and wonderful places. Before we overview the four main processing methods, it’s helpful to check out the cross-section of a coffee cherry as follows.

Coffee Cherry Profile

Natural process

In the natural process, the coffee cherry is picked and the entire cherry is allowed to dry on the seed or bean. Generally this drying will occur on raised beds, but in countries like Brazil, they have a great deal of land and so they commonly use large flat outdoor patios. The remaining cherry is then removed. Generally the coffee is left to mature in it’s parchment. After 1-3 months, the coffee is then dry milled to remove parchment, sorted again, graded for sale, cupped and sold to roasters. Cup flavour: Rich cocoa, heavy syrup, fruit notes leading to fermented flavours.

Washed process

In this method the coffee cherry is picked then pulped. This is where the skin and fruit layer is removed, which is then commonly used for cascara. The mucilage is left on the parchment, and then the coffee is inserted into large vats of water called fermentation tanks. The time varies as per farmers direction with the coffee, generally 48 hours. After fermentation is complete, a further washing is conducted on the coffee to further clean up the bean and remove any remaining mucilage. The coffee bean is then prepared for drying. In dry countries or areas, wet or washed processing is seldom seen because of the lack of running water. The coffee is then matured in parchment for 1-3 months. At this point it is dry milled to remove parchment, sorted, graded, cupped, scored, bagged and sold. Cup flavour: Mild body, clean and transparent flavours more clarity, hence nuance is easily perceived.

Pulped natural process

In the pulped natural process both the skin layer and fruit layer is removed. The mucilage is left on the parchment which is then left to dry on raised air beds. Farmers vary the drying time and we see this manifested in the various processes. The coffee is then washed vigorously to remove and remaining fruit. Cup flavour: The growers are trying to balance the cup profile, and thus aiming to lower the presence of heavy cocoa’s and nuts from a full natural style and improving the complexity of washed coffees.

Honey process

The honey process is a modern style, where just the skin is removed from the cherry. Therefore, this is the process that leaves most fruit on the coffee, more than the pulped natural process. Farmers often cover the coffee with heavy plastic and then left to dry on raised beds. Sometimes a hot air machine is used to force drying under the tables. This process accentuates fermentation but also gives the farmer more control over cup profile and taste.. The cup flavour:
  • White honey - Almost fully washed, with a fraction of ferment concentration.
  • Yellow, Orange and Red honey - Somewhere in between.
  • Black honey - Almost fully natural with a touch more elegance, restraint and complexity than a full natural.
We have also recently purchased coffee that has gone through a black winey process.

Black winey process

The ripe red cherry is picked then the farmer places the coffee into a polystyrene bag in approximately 40kg lots. The coffee is then left to become black and develop a winey character. The coffee is then put on raised beds and allowed to dry to 11% moisture. The coffee is rested to allow the enzymes to settle down and balance, which takes about four weeks. At this point the coffee is dry milled, cupped, scored, bagged and sold. The cup flavour: Well balanced ferment and low acidity for a coffee of this style, exceptional enhanced sweetness

How far does the rabbit hole go?

You will see interesting things such as growers adding yeast to fermentation tanks to add flavour to the cup and some farmers in regions such as Mexico are starting to do special lots of coffee aged in Mezcal, Tequila and rum barrels for interesting cup profiles. The future looks interesting and flavoursome. Thanks for reading, hope it has been interesting! Dom

Dom T
Prev Post
Next Post

Thanks for subscribing!

This email has been registered!

Shop the look

Choose Options

Edit Option
Back In Stock Notification
this is just a warning
Shopping Cart
0 items