What the hell is Honey, anaerobic or washed coffee?

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A photo of green coffee beans abou to get roasted by mom

Honey Process, Anaerobic, washed. What does this all mean, and why does it matter?

 

This is a common thing to hear within the Specialty Coffee Industry, and many small local coffee roasters use specialty coffee and coffees with various processing methods to achieve a specific flavor profile with that particular coffee.

Specialty coffee describes high-quality coffee grown, harvested, and processed with care. The specialty coffee process typically involves strict attention to detail at every production stage, from growing the coffee plants to roasting the beans.

One of the critical differences between specialty and regular coffee is how the beans are grown. Specialty coffee is typically grown at high altitudes, in ideal climates, and nutrient-rich soil. This results in denser, sweeter, and more flavorful beans than those grown at lower elevations.

Another key difference is the way the beans are processed. Specialty coffee beans are typically hand-picked to ensure that only the ripest and highest-quality beans are used. They are then carefully sorted and cleaned to remove any defects or impurities.

Finally, the beans are roasted with precision and care, usually in small batches. This allows the roaster to closely monitor the process and make adjustments as needed to ensure that the beans are roasted to perfection.

Overall, the specialty coffee process focuses on producing high-quality beans rich in flavor, aroma, and complexity.

There are several methods used to process green coffee beans, including:

  1. Wet Process: Also known as washed coffee, this method involves removing the outer skin of the coffee cherry and then fermenting the beans to remove the remaining fruit. The beans are then washed and dried.
  2. Dry Process: Also known as natural coffee, this method involves leaving the coffee cherry on the beans as they dry in the sun. Once the cherry is dried, it is removed to reveal the bean. This method is typically used in areas with limited access to water.
  3. Semi-Washed Process: This method combines the wet and dry process, where the outer skin of the cherry is removed, but the beans are not fermented before drying.
  4. Honey Process: This method involves removing the outer skin of the cherry but leaving some or all of the sticky fruit residue on the beans as they dry. This results in a unique flavor profile.
  5. Pulped Natural Process: Also known as the “Brazil” process, this method involves removing the outer skin of the cherry and some of the fruit before drying, similar to the semi-washed process but with more fruit left on the beans.
  6. Anaerobic Coffee Process: The anaerobic coffee process is a method of processing coffee beans that involves fermenting the beans in an anaerobic (oxygen-free) environment. This process can be used to add unique flavors to the coffee beans and is considered to be a specialty method of processing. The beans are fermented for several days to several weeks, depending on the desired flavor profile. The anaerobic process is used to produce unique and complex flavor profiles and can be used in combination with other processing methods like wet, dry or honey.

 

Do you feel like a coffee nerd now?

Good! You should be!

We hope this gives you a better insight and understanding when purchasing your next bag of beans. Check out our Online Store to brew your next cup of coffee.

 

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