Washed vs. Natural: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to processing coffees, there are two primary ways coffee goes from harvest to export. So… what’s the difference?

Washed Coffees
Washed coffees are coveted for their clean cup characteristics as well as their pleasing acidity.  Coffee cherries are harvested, placed in a washing station, where the unripe cherries are sorted out and then de-pulped (the fruit is taken off). The coffee is then introduced to a water holding tank to sit and go through a fermentation stage where remaining fruit is removed.  After the fermentation stage the coffee is dried (either on patios, drying tables or mechanically), and then prepared for export. One of our favorite washed coffees is our Kenya Windrush, which has notes of Oolong Tea, Rose Water, and Red Plum.

Jan19geishproces_091

Naturally Processed Coffees
Naturally processed coffees are coffees that are prized for their unique characteristics.  These are usually something along the lines of fruity (blueberry, strawberry, tropical) and generally have a heavier body.  After the coffee cherries are harvested they are placed out to dry in the open air.  These are dried on a patio that is manually turned to promote even drying or on specially raised drying tables that provide a nice airflow around the cherries resulting in a more even drying.  When it is properly dried, the outer skin and flesh are removed from the cherry and the coffee is prepared for export. We love Ardi, which has complex notes of Plum Wine, Concord Grapes, and Apple Pie.

Natural processing

Now you can purchase our favorite two naturally processed coffees in one pack.

About La Colombe Coffee Roasters (505 Articles)
Take life to the next level. Everyone deserves cafe quality coffee, anywhere. #CafeAnywhere

3 Comments on Washed vs. Natural: What’s the Difference?

  1. I love your site!! lol I’m a coffee head and I’m alway enlightened by you wisdom. Thanks for sharing 💕

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  2. I don't know if mine were washed or dried naturally. // August 7, 2017 at 7:48 am // Reply

    Is that info always listed on the package? I am looking at my boxes of Monte Carlo, Louisiane & For Haiti and I don’t see it, but, it is after a weekend…

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  3. Will we ever see Zambia Mubuyu come back again? That was the coffee that got me coming back to you over and over. I drove an hour each way to Fishtown to get it a few years back. I made this trip every other week to keep my supply fresh. Then it ran out. I’ve been missing it ever since. I tend to gravitate towards San Roque in its absence. I’ve tried every new bean to come out and still have this emptiness that is longing for Mubuyu.

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