The 3 Processing Techniques that Coffee Farmers Use

August 25, 2018

The 3 Processing Techniques that Coffee Farmers Use

Ever wonder what happens to coffee beans before they’re roasted, packaged, and shipped to stores?

Maybe you’d like to know where the beans even grow – some random coffee farm on an island? Utah?

Coffee processing is actually pretty fascinating.

First, you start with what they call “coffee berries” (or “coffee cherries” depending on who you ask). They’re grown in tropical climates around the world, from Mexico to Hawaii to Indonesia.

 Coffee Cherries


The beans we know and love are inside these berries, raw and ready to roll. Once picked, the coffee beans move to the next stage to be “processed.”

There are three popular techniques for coffee processing: washed, natural, and honey.

Washed: This method involves taking coffee beans out of the berries using machines called pulpers. Once that’s done, the beans sit and ferment in tanks before they’re washed, dried, and stored. As you can imagine, it’s a lot of work!

You tend to get a soft, chocolate-y or flowery taste with washed beans. Yum!

Natural: This “dry” process (meaning, little water is involved) is as old as coffee farming itself. Beans stay inside the fruit and dry under the sun before they’re taken out.

Many people love the delicious, fruity flavor you get that makes every morning an adventure.

Honey: No, you don’t throw the beans into a beehive and hope for the best. It just means the mucilage (a natural, sticky coating on coffee beans) is never removed or washed off before the beans are put out to dry. So, it’s like the beans are covered in honey. Cool, right?

One quick thing: do you know about fair trade coffee? If you see fair trade coffee mentioned on packaging, that means the farmers were treated fairly. It also means certain environmental standards were met during the coffee farming process.


If you could visit a coffee farm anywhere in the world, where would you go? We’d love to know.




Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Brewtoria - Blog

What are Those Bubbles In My Pourover?
What are Those Bubbles In My Pourover?

May 07, 2019

Continue Reading

Craft Coffee, Gifts and Subscriptions
Craft Coffee, Gifts and Subscriptions

November 20, 2018

It's that time of year again, a portion of your free time is now devoted to holiday gifts for family, and friends.  You research, browse, and maintain lists of gifts that will get the "big wow" when they are opened. Perhaps you know someone who loves coffee and you've got a gut feeling that they would love to get a bag of fresh roasted whole coffee beans at their door each month through a regular coffee subscription.  If I've peaked your interest, read on.

Continue Reading

Ferris Coffee, Grand Rapids, Michigan - Bee House Dripper
Ferris Coffee, Grand Rapids, Michigan - Bee House Dripper

November 14, 2018

We chose two fluffy chairs close to the counter with unique end tables made from blocks of cut rough lumber. Curious about the brewing method, I slipped up to the counter where the barista was beginning my pour.  Not recognizing the brewing device, I asked inquisitively and she introduced me to the Bee House cone dripper.

Continue Reading