Coffee beans are actually the pit of a coffee cherry. Before we can roast the coffee, we must make the transition from cherry to bean and this can involve any number of steps. Generally, we refer to these steps as processing.

Most coffee being served around the world is wet processed, or “washed.” Washed Processed coffees typically result in a cleaner, brighter cup, often highlighting floral and citrus characteristics as well as chocolate and nuts.

Photo Credit Gabbi Rodriguez

Photo Credit Gabbi Rodriguez

The next most common method is a dry-processed coffee, or “natural.” Natural Processed coffees are dried with the cherry still on the bean. As a result, the bean absorbs many sugars and fruit characteristics. Often times natural processed coffees have very intense berry notes such as blueberry or strawberry and typically have a more intense body and mouthfeel.

In between these, there are quite a few variations on semi-washed, often called honey processed coffees. These processing methods aim to find a hybrid ground between the flavor notes of your average washed and/or natural coffee.