Natural or “Dry” process coffees is a process where the fruit is picked when ripe and laid out to dry on massive patios or raised beds for weeks at a time. The fruit will dry completely around the seed before being hulled off.
Yeast and bacteria will enter the fruit and begin to metabolize the sugars and acids inside the coffee fruit, a process that can continue until the coffee is dried to the standard of 10% to 12% moisture. Most of time producers don’t have much control over which yeast and bacteria will attack the cherries and for this reason it’s a difficult process to control and predict. Natural processing can bring some unappealing flavour defects like over fermented, mould and sour if not done with care, but, if done properly, can bring a rich sweetness in the cup, with fruity and winey notes, good body and syrupy texture.
Drying coffees naturally is considerably longer and the overall process is risky. Workers spread the coffee out onto huge concrete surfaces or raised beds to dry in the sun, then the coffee is turned periodically throughout the day to avoid any spoiling.
Natural process coffees are most commonly found in Ethiopia, Brazil, and Costa Rica, but in the last few years many producers around the world are also experimenting with this methodology, especially in central and South America.
If you’re interesting in trying a natural processed coffee go check out our stunning direct trade Natural from Brazil click here.
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