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How is Coffee Processed?

It's Sandy again, one of Parisi Coffee's two current Q Graders and I'm here to share more coffee knowledge with you!

The coffee you are familiar with as a roasted bean begins its life inside a fruited cherry that grows on an evergreen shrub somewhere on the globe between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. This belt that wraps around the globe is known as the “coffee latitudes," also known as The Coffee Belt. All specialty coffee comes from somewhere in this band, whether it’s Kona, Hawaii; Kivu, Congo; or Mount Kerinci, Sumatra.

Coffee is a drupe, or stone fruit, a type of fruit with a seed or pit that is surrounded by a fleshy body. Surrounding the pit, or the seed, are additional shells of protection. These layers are eventually removed and the seeds, or beans, within are dried. The way in which the innermost seed or pit of the coffee is dried has a major role in how that coffee will taste.
Coffee Cherries
The four most common processing methods include:
Wet, or Washed: all fleshy fruit is removed, seeds are fully washed and cleaned, and left to dry. Coffee processed this way produces what we like to call, “coffee-flavored, coffee.”
Natural, Pulped Natural: the fleshy fruit is left to raisin or prune before the rest of the fruit is removed for additional drying. Coffee processed this way has strong notes of fruit and jam.
Semi Washed, Semi Pulped, or Honey Process: only some of the fleshy fruit is removed while the rest is left on while the seeds are left out to dry, then the fruit is removed and the seeds are fully dried. Coffee processed this way has a pleasant sweetness and mild acidity.
Anaerobic, Low O2: the fleshy fruit and seed within are put in an oxygen-poor environment, such as an opaque bag or barrel, and allowed to partially ferment before the flesh is removed. Coffee processed this way is truly wild in how it tastes.
Parisi Cold Brew
Want to hear a secret? I’m incredibly partial to Natural Processed coffees. I enjoy the big fruit bombs and syrupy bodies these coffees produce. I’m not a big fan of highly acidic foods, and coffee is one of them. Our Nicaragua Natural has notes of bing cherry syrup and a pleasant, mild acidity. Try it as our featured cold brew in our Overland Park and Union Station locations during the month of May. It's a perfect pick-me-up on a hot afternoon.
All of our coffees are excellent but we recommend sampling the nuances between two of our very highly rated coffees, so you can get a taste of what we do everyday.
Next in the series, I'll dig into the differences between the three coffee waves and species of coffee. If you missed my previous blog post post, What is a Q Grader? check it out to learn more about Q Graders.
Sip, Savor, and Enjoy a good life!