Coffee Processing: Natural/Dry
“Natural process,” “dry process,” or “sundried,” where did it start?
Coffee bean drying is thought to have originated in Ethiopia and Brazil. The fruit remains attached to the bean and dries unaffected. This method takes less capital, but it still necessitates particular climatic conditions to ensure that the fruit and seed are dried in a timely manner.
Some individuals believe that by using this method, they would be able to make better flavorful coffees. This is most common in Brazil and other coffee-growing regions of the world's largest countries, such as the United States.
In the dry process, coffee cherries are dried in the sun on patios or raised beds. Depending on the farm or region, the drying stations may differ slightly. On cement patios, the cherries are scraped into a single layer to keep them from rotting.
This is the more conventional way of processing coffee, which generally takes 3-6 weeks. It is most effective in locations with low humidity and little rain, such as Ethiopia and Yemen.
After cherries have been dried, they are transferred to mills where the seeds are separated from the rest of the dried fruit, a process known as "hulling." Before being exported, the skin and dried fruit are mechanically removed, and the green coffee is stored and "rested."
What is the result of the flavor?
The flavors of natural sundried processed coffee are often more delicious and full-bodied since the seeds are encased in the cherry for a longer time. During this process, the natural sugars in and around the bean are absorbed into it, resulting in a higher sugar content, as well as richer fruit and fermented flavors, than washed coffees.
Natural coffee that has been properly picked and prepared can produce great cupping notes and offer consumers incredible sweet flavors. Some naturals resemble a tropical fruit salad or a fruit compote rather than coffee.
Regardless of the variety or region, the natural process adds sweet and fruity tastes to the coffee. Berries and tropical fruits are common flavor notes in natural processed coffee. Wild, fermented flavors and alcohol-like overtones are also possible.