Coffee Dictionary | Natural Processing

The dry processing or natural process, is the green bean processing method with the longest history among all coffee processing methods. As the name implies, the natural processing method is to place the picked and screened coffee cherries in the sun to dry and dehydrate.

natural process
natural process

The traditional natural process is generally carried out on the concrete floor, and later it is also placed on the terrace made of bricks, custom-made sunbeds, etc. During the drying process, the fruit must be turned constantly to avoid moldy or excessive fermentation of the fruit. After the fruit is dried, the peel, pulp, and pectin are removed by machine, and the bean shell (dried endocarp, also known as “parchment”) is kept for preservation before sale. The whole process takes about half to a month.

The natural process is also the fermentation process of the fruit. Therefore, whole fruit fermentation can allow more substances to remain in the coffee beans, making the flavor of the coffee present a rich and complex character, and the sweetness is more obvious. There is no washing step, so many substances can be retained, but the cleanliness is low and the acidity is not too high.

dry processing
dry processing

It can be seen that the natural process method can not only make the coffee taste better but also save water resources through a relatively simple treatment process. It is suitable for areas with sufficient sunlight and a lack of water resources.

And the processing time is longer, requires a larger space and continuous flipping operations, the cost of time and the requirements for the site are high, and the demand for manpower is also large.

If it is spread on the ground, it will be easily mixed with impurities or contaminated with a bad smell, which will affect the subsequent processing and the quality of raw beans. Today, a considerable part of the world’s coffee still uses natural processing, such as in Ethiopia, Brazil, Yemen, and so on.

Processing steps: picking-screening-drying-peeling to pectin

Flavor characteristics: low acidity, obvious sweetness, slightly low cleanliness, high complexity

Advantages: more flavors are preserved, the processing process is simple, and water resources are saved

Disadvantages: subject to weather constraints, long processing time, large demand for manpower and space

Representative coffee or region: Ethiopia, Yemen, Brazil

How to roast coffee beans with natural process

If you want to enjoy the unique flavor of coffee beans processed by the natural method, you need to roast them properly. Roasting is the process of applying heat to the green beans to transform them into brown beans that are ready for brewing. Roasting can affect the aroma, taste, body, and acidity of the coffee.

There are different types of coffee roasters that you can use to roast your beans, such as fresh roast coffee bean roaster, high end coffee roasters, home drum coffee roaster, 2kg coffee roaster for sale, etc. The choice of coffee roaster depends on your budget, preference, and roasting capacity.

A fresh roast coffee bean roaster is a small and affordable device that can roast small batches of beans in a few minutes. It is easy to use and has a transparent chamber that allows you to see the color change of the beans. A fresh roast coffee bean roaster is suitable for beginners who want to experiment with different roasting levels.

A high end coffee roaster is a more expensive and sophisticated device that can roast larger batches of beans with more precision and consistency. It has advanced features such as temperature control, airflow control, drum speed control, etc. A high end coffee roaster is suitable for professionals or enthusiasts who want to achieve the best quality and flavor of the coffee.

A home drum coffee roaster is a medium-sized device that can roast beans in a rotating drum that exposes them to hot air. It can roast beans evenly and produce a smooth and balanced flavor. A home drum coffee roaster is suitable for home users who want to roast beans regularly and conveniently.

A 2kg coffee roaster for sale is a commercial device that can roast up to 2kg of beans per batch. It has a large drum that can handle high temperatures and a cooling tray that can quickly cool down the beans. A 2kg coffee roaster for sale is suitable for coffee shops or roasters who want to roast beans in bulk and sell them to customers.

No matter what kind of coffee roaster you use, you need to follow some basic steps to roast your beans:

  • Preheat the roaster to the desired temperature, usually between 180°C and 230°C.
  • Weigh the beans and load them into the roaster.
  • Start the roaster and monitor the roasting process. You can use a thermometer, a timer, or your senses to check the temperature, time, and color of the beans.
  • Listen for the first crack and the second crack, which are audible signs of the beans expanding and releasing moisture and carbon dioxide. The first crack occurs when the beans reach a light to medium roast, and the second crack occurs when the beans reach a medium to dark roast.
  • Stop the roaster when you reach your preferred roasting level. You can use a color chart or a roast degree analyzer to compare the color of the beans with the standard roasting levels.
  • Transfer the beans to a cooling tray or a colander and stir them to cool them down quickly. Avoid exposing the beans to water or moisture, as this can affect the flavor and freshness of the coffee.
  • Store the beans in an airtight container in a cool and dry place. Wait for at least 12 hours before brewing the coffee, as the beans need to rest and degas.

By following these steps, you can roast your own coffee beans with the natural process and enjoy the rich and complex flavor of the coffee.

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