The Coffee Review lab has smelled like a candy store for the last few weeks — a Willy Wonka factory for grownups. Of the hundreds of coffees we cup every year, a growing percentage of them are natural-processed. In the wine world, the word “natural” doesn’t mean anything in particular, is more of a marketing term designed to imply minimal intervention in the winemaking process. In coffee, “natural” processing means something very specific: that the beans or seeds are dried inside the entire coffee fruit. This approach differs from the “washed” (or wet) method, in which the beans are stripped of their fruit before they are dried. Both approaches have profound impact on the sensory character of the green coffee. As in winemaking, natural processing of coffee is a minimal-intervention process in its most basic form.
But now, “basic” … Read more