Washed Vs. Natural Coffee – Which One is Better?

The procedure involved in coffee production, a fundamental aspect of coffee farming, requires the removal of the skin from the beans. The process of peeling and stripping away the husk and pulp of the coffee cherry fruit to reveal the beans is complex.

The processing of coffee has a large effect on the resulting cup of coffee. Many roasters and baristas have their concentration on the processing of coffee to completely describe it. This process starts becoming so much popular.

The farmers do different experiments with new processing methods of coffee. They do experiments like anaerobic fermentation. With the help of these methods, they give you a coffee of new taste and new flavors.

Many people love these new experiments and start enjoying the taste of coffee. There is a great difference between a washed and natural coffee. They are different from one another in the case of flavor and their processing process. Some people like natural coffee, and others prefer to enjoy the flavor of washed one.

What is Natural Coffee?

Natural coffee is also known as the dry process or dry coffee. It is the oldest way to process coffee. Dry coffee is obtained by passing coffee beans through different steps. In the natural process, the following steps take place.

  • First, the farmers pick the coffee cherries from the trees of coffee. Cherries of high quality are used for this purpose. After picking, they spread these coffee cherries to dry in the sun. Coffee cherries spread in a thin layer to dry quickly. In the natural process, the heat of the sun is important for drying coffee cherries.
  • The place where the coffee cherries dry can be a little different. Their difference depends on the farm or the region. Some people also use brick patios, and some use raised beds. The brick patios and raised beds are specially designed for this purpose.
  • These brick patios and special tables enable air to flow from the cherries. Due to the flow of air, the cherries dry easily.
  • If you do not change the place of cherries, they might rote or ferment. To avoid this, the cherries are turned in regularly. It will help to avoid the fermentation and rotting of coffee cherries. It will help to keep the coffee cherries safe from any rotting.
  • After the complete drying of coffee cherries, the dry skin and flesh are then removed. After removing, the green coffee is obtained, which is then stored and rested. These stored coffee beans are then exported to different regions and places.
  • The natural process requires less amount of water for processing. In the regions where there is no or less access to water, farmers choose natural processes. Out of these, the common regions are Ethiopia and some areas of Brazil. In many regions, the natural process is used as a tradition where no big development takes place.

You may also read: Best Colombian Coffee 2021 – Reviews

Different Opinions about Natural Coffee

Different people have different opinions about natural coffee. Many people love the flavor of natural coffee, while on the other hand, other people do not enjoy its taste. The natural process adds flavor to the coffee. 

This natural process adds Flavor-like fruitiness and sweetness. Common flavors in this process involve blueberry, tropical fruits, strawberry, and honey. But there is also one disadvantage: these flavors can also be wild. 

Natural coffee sometimes has fermented flavors and alcohol-like flavors. As compared with the washed coffees, natural processed coffee also has a red wine-like taste. The natural process of coffee can be useful for many baristas and roasteries. 

It will give the exact taste of coffee, and those who like the right taste of the coffee will love this process. For those who do not like fermented and strong flavors, natural coffee is not for them.

What is Washed Coffee?

Washed coffee is also known as the wet processing method. It is another most widely used way to process coffee. In the washed process following steps take place.

  • In this process, the flesh of the fruit is removed mechanically. The skin of coffee beans is removed before they get dried. In this process, a machine is involved named a depulper. Depulper is used to remove the flesh of the fruit. 
  • After removing the skin, the coffee beans are then put in the water tank. In the water tank, the fermentation process takes place where the remaining fruit flesh is removed. Fermentation requires some amount of time.
  • This time depends on two important factors. These two factors are climate and altitude. In the region where the temperature is hot, fermentation requires less time. In most cases, this process requires 24-72 hours. Too long fermentation also harms coffee. It will greatly affect the flavor of the coffee.
  • When the fermentation process is completed, the coffee beans are then washed. With this washing process, any leftover flesh is completely removed from coffee beans.
  • They are then taken for the drying process. Drying in both the washed and natural process is the same. Drying takes place either through brick patios or through the raised beds. Regular turning of beans is necessary for even drying. There are other mechanical methods to dry beans where the sunlight is not enough.

Different Opinions about Washed Coffee

With the help of the washed process, brightness comes in coffee beans. It also gives an acidic flavor in a cup of coffee. Many roasters and baristas liked washed coffee a lot as this coffee is full of flavors. 

Washed coffee has a white wine-like flavor. This white wine flavor is very much appreciated among coffee lovers. Different producers and farmers prefer the washed process for coffee. 

This process can be properly done and reduce many risks of defects. The Washer process is a stable way for processing coffee rather than the natural process.

On the other hand, the washing process is a little bit expensive. In this process, there is a requirement to use more water than a natural process. Due to this requirement of more water, it gets expensive for farmers and producers.

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