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Coffee Processing Methods

coffee processing methodsAs Brazil is well-known for their coffee production, they have their own different methods that they have mastered which will enable them to harvest some the best and most fragrant coffee beans.

Processing Methods

Dry Process

It is the simplest method. It consists of drying the whole fruits immediately after harvesting. Since the coffees are dried in contact with the sweet mucilage, the coffee will be heavy in body, sweet and smooth. Drying is carried out either “naturally” or “artificially”.


It is a relatively new method of removing the four layers surrounding the coffee bean. This process results in a coffee that is cleaner, acidy, and fruitier. Wet processing is done in a relatively small proportion to dry-processing in Brazil.

Pulped Natural

The pulped natural method consists of pulping a coffee. It results in a beverage that has both characteristics: a dry- and wet-processed coffee. It is often sweeter than wet-processed coffees, has some of the body of a dry-processed coffee, but also retains some of the acidity of a wet-processed coffee. This type of processing can only occur in countries where the humidity is low and the silverskin can be dried rapidly without fermenting. Brazil has made this method famous and produces some of the best pulped-natural coffees in the world. All twenty winners of the Gourmet Cup competition in Brazil in 2000 processed their coffees using the pulped natural method.


There is another type of coffee that has emerged on the market called re-passed or raisins. These coffees are floaters and are usually discarded with the rest of the floaters. However, they have a flavor profile that some of the world's best experts find to be much sweeter than traditional pulped coffees. The cherries float because they have been dried too long on the tree before being collected. This, however, allows the bean to interact with the mucilage for a longer amount of time before the fermentation. The beans are removed from the rest of the floaters using a barrel system developed in Brazil. The coffees are then re-passed and pulped. They can then be washed or used as pulped naturals.

In other countries, the most significant player in flavour profile is the processing method. After this more subtle nuances due to regional characteristics can take over. There are several distinct regions in Brazil, each large enough to be their own country and distinct enough to be considered so.