Natural Processing & Why It's So-So Sweet

Natural Processing & Why It's So-So Sweet

The Real OG: Natural Process

There are many ways to get a coffee bean from a coffee cherry, but there's only one method that has withstood the test of time.

Since people have been harvesting coffee to brew up and drink, the natural (or dry) method of processing has been used. After generations and generations of perfecting this volatile process, this method has become known for powerful juicy notes, overwhelming sweetness, and muted acidity.  

What Happens In Natural Processing

After being picked from the tree, the coffee cherries are brought to a processing facility.  There, the picked cherries are reevaluated for optimal ripeness (usually based on color of the cherry), and at the point, the cherries are placed on raised beds (a table with the top being a netting or mesh that lets the cherry dry on the bean).  They're rotated frequently--every half-hour to hour--to keep the bean from starting to mold or ferment at this step in the processing.  


It's this step that often goes awry.  All too often a natural processing leads to defective beans--molded or fermented.  

That's also the step where so much of the sweetness and fruity flavor is set into the bean.  

From that point on, this is very much like the wet processing method of processing.