Naturally processed coffee, also known as “dry processed” or “unwashed” coffee, refers to a method of processing coffee cherries in which the cherries are left to dry in the sun before the beans are removed. This method is typically used in countries with dry climates, such as Ethiopia, where the cherries can be dried on raised beds or patios.
The process of natural processing coffee begins with the cherries being harvested and then laid out in the sun to dry. As the cherries dry, the outer layers of the cherry begin to ferment, which can affect the flavor of the final coffee. Once the cherries have dried to the desired moisture level, they are hulled to remove the outer layers and reveal the coffee beans.
Naturally processed coffee tends to have a more full-bodied flavor with fruity and sweet notes. It can also have a higher acidity than other types of coffee, which can give it a bright, lively flavor. However, the quality of naturally processed coffee can be more inconsistent than other methods, as the cherries are prone to fermentation and other quality issues during the drying process.