Natural/dry processed coffees have divided the specialty coffee industry time and time again. They have a sweet, fruity flavour thanks to their processing method. A coffee that’s mediocre when washed can really pop when dry processed. Yet, at the same time, it’s harder to ensure quality and produce consistent results.
So let’s take a look at some of these risks in today’s curated video article.
What Is Natural Coffee & Why Does It Have Defects?
What is natural coffee? How is it made? And why it susceptible to certain green bean defects, such as broken beans? This video from Stephen Leighton of Has Bean Coffee explains it all.
A couple of points: first, all coffee is susceptible to certain defects; this video just looks at ones more common in natural processed coffee. Secondly, Stephen mentions Indian raised beds, but you are more likely to see and hear of African raised beds.
Finally, while Stephen talks about the common method of sorting coffee by hand, larger mills and farms may use machinery. It’s also often done, mechanically or by hand, with water.
Fermentation Issues: A Risky Business?
In the video above, Stephen talks about how bad weather can make producing natural coffee risky. It can lead the coffee cherries to ferment, causing unpleasant flavours in the final cup. What’s more, it can be hard to control the final flavour profile and ensure consistency.
In our next video, which comes from Sweet Maria’s, Tom visits a cooperative in Burundi that is natural processing coffee on a client’s request – despite less-than-ideal weather conditions. He explains the risks, and also shows how the producers are trying to combat the cool weather.
So if natural coffee is riskier, and requires more quality control, why do producers still do it? Because customers love it, because it’s environmentally friendly due to the low water usage, and good natural processed coffees can reach high prices.
Is it worth it? For the consumer, definitely. For the farmer? That’s a decision they have to make.
Feature photo credit: Sweet Maria’s Coffee
Please note: Perfect Daily Grind does not own the rights to these videos and cannot be held accountable for their content.
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