Each of these coffee processing methods result in a different taste and composition of the coffee.
During the coffee processing method, the raw coffee beans are extracted from the cherries and are dried and sorted.
This process shapes the flavor, acidity, and body of the coffee beans, and ultimately, the cup of coffee you will be drinking.
Wet processing, also known as washed coffee, is the oldest and most common method for processing coffee beans. This method involves the use of water, where water helps extract the raw coffee beans from the coffee cherry. In some cases, the coffee beans are fermented. After the coffee beans are extracted, they are dried on raised beds or in a mechanical dryer.
Wet processing generally results in a light-bodied and acidic coffee.
Dry processing, also known as natural processed coffee, is a method of processing coffee beans where the beans are dried inside of the coffee cherry. This process does not involve the use of water and is typically used for coffees from Ethiopia, Brazil, and Yemen. This method usually results in a full body and sweet flavor, which is why it is commonly used for espresso blends.
Semi-Wash Processing (Honey)
Semi-wash processing is a combination of both dry and wet processing. During this method, some of the mucilage, or the natural layer around the bean, is fermented and some is washed off with water. This method is most commonly used in Indonesia and Ethiopia. This process balances the best characteristics of wet and dry processing, resulting in a coffee that has a full body and smooth flavor, with just a hint of sweetness.