Coffee Processing and the Flavor Notes
Numerous factors determine your roast profile— the origin, varieties and the freshly picked cherries processing method into green coffee beans before shipment and ultimately roasting—also creates distinct differences in the way coffee tastes.
Acidity level - for washed, natural, honey coffees process the difference it can be richer and less tart coffee, to some coffee having the most pronounced acidity.
In Tanzania most farmers grow their coffees at altitudes between 1,400 meters (4,593 feet) to 1,800 meters (5,905 feet) above sea level. Almost all the coffee from the country qualifies as Strictly High Grown coffees. The next step is the processing of the seed/bean. All coffees are processed before consumption, When the coffee cherries are harvested from the coffee tree, the seed/bean must be separated from the cherry fruit and mucilage before it is roasted.
Most farmers process their coffees in any of the three processes:
Natural/dry and washed are the main processing methods among many farmers today, there is also the honey (or pulped natural) process. Tanzanian coffee producers are utilizing both processing methods.
Washed / wet processing, which has the coffee cherry soaked in water and removes the beans before they are dried. Processing this way allows the coffee beans to both be uniform and to produce clean tasting coffees that are enjoyable to drink and it’s the quicker method of processing coffee.
Natural / dry processing – This method allows coffee to dry in the sun for several days with fruit intact with the cherry to cause the coffee bean to ferment and absorb more of the sugars from the fruit itself and give it a heavier and fruity taste than washed coffee. But during this processing if some cherries resulted in over-fermenting it can cause inconsistent taste and quality. The method it’s widely used.
The pulped natural or honey process - is a hybrid that blends elements of natural and washed methods to create new distinction in flavour, during the process the fresh coffee cherries are de-pulped but allowed to dry without washing. With less fruit left complete compared to natural processes. Most of the cherry is gone, but the remaining yellowish, sticky mucilage is reminiscent of honey. The process uses less water, allowing the fruit to dry on the bean means that it can be physically removed during milling rather than being washed off as is typical of washed coffees.
All coffees, regardless of processing method, are milled or hulled to remove the last layers of skins that protect the inner bean.