What are coffee processing methods?

There are several coffee processing methods that are used to remove the outer layers of the coffee cherry and dry the beans inside. The three main processing methods are: Washed process: This method involves removing the outer skin of the coffee cherry using a machine, then soaking the beans in water to ferment for 24-48 hours. This fermentation process breaks down the remaining layers of fruit and sugar around the bean, which are then washed away. The beans are then dried on raised beds or patios until they reach the desired moisture content. Natural process: In this method, the coffee cherries are harvested and spread out to dry in the sun, often on raised beds or patios. The beans are left in the fruit for several weeks, allowing the sugars and flavors of the fruit to infuse into the beans. The outer layers are removed once the beans are fully dried. Honey process: This method is similar to the natural process, but the outer skin of the cherry is removed before drying. The beans are then left to dry with some or all of the sticky, honey-like fruit pulp still attached. The amount of fruit left on the bean can vary, and the resulting coffee can be categorized as white, yellow, red, or black honey, depending on the amount of fruit remaining on the bean. Other less common processing methods include pulped natural, semi-washed, and anaerobic fermentation. Each processing method can influence the flavor profile of the coffee, resulting in unique taste characteristics.