What is a Natural drying process vs. a Washing process?
In the last few days I've been telling you a lot about the natural process of fermentation. The processes are the stage that comes after the coffee harvest. Here the coffee grower decides how he wants or what he wants to highlight in that cup of coffee.
Although today there are several very advanced processes such as Honeys, Anaerobic and Aerobic Fermentations, Nitrolactic Maceration, etc., the most recognized and the longest that have been practiced worldwide, are the natural and washed processes.
Natural Process in rice and beans
The Natural process is when the coffee cherry is picked and dried by sun without pulping approximately 3 to 6 weeks. This ensures that the grain is nourished by all the sugar that the mucilage provides. In the cup we can expect a lot of sweetness, body and slightly marked acidity. On the other hand, internationally these processes are more expensive due to the control and rigor of the practice. You have to be very careful, because if the farmer is careless, they can overferment and lose the entire batch.
Sometimes when I try these coffees, they remind me a bit of the assortment of dry fruits that one buys in the supermarket for a snack. Those assortments that bring raisins, peaches, blueberries, among other fruits, are an excellent example of what a Natural process is, since they come with a degree of fermentation.
In short, the Natural process seeks to accentuate the fruity characteristics that the coffee itself has. Let us remember that coffee is a fruit and it is worth having sweetness, bitterness and acidity. Why not appreciate them?
Freshly picked coffee cherries ready to begin the natural fermentation process.
Coffee cherry finishing natural fermentation. As you can see, due to its drying in the sun, the shell darkens. This lets us know that the grain is absorbing the sugars that the mucilage and husk provide to the grain.
Washing process in rice and beans.
The washing process has been the most famous and most practiced in the coffee industry . This has been a bit simpler because it is more practical and has less risk of overfermentation.
Here only the cherry is picked, pulped, the mucilage is washed, which is the viscous part that sticks to the coffee after removing the shell, it is fermented and, finally, it is dried to the sun.
In the cup you should perceive more characteristic flavors of the coffee, since you are not looking to alter anything, beyond what that coffee can offer you, whether due to the region cultivated, variety and height. Typically you'll find a cup with cleaner, lighter flavors.
Coffee beans in their fermentation stage, after being washed for the first time.
By this time the coffee has already spent several days drying and the parchment has been created. Parchment is the shell that forms after several days of drying.
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Now, having all this information, I urge you to do tests at home and compare an Aromas del Campo Natural and any other Washed coffee from our selection.
Our interest is that you can learn and go through the experience of perceiving the differences in the cup of the different coffee processes. Below you will find a series of recommendations from the Cuela team.
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Aromas del Campo Natural link: https://bit.ly/37u6NuT.