Processing Method

Hawai’i: A New Wave of Coffee Innovation

Hawai’i: A New Wave of Coffee Innovation

The Hawaiian Islands are known the world over for beautiful beaches, diverse microclimates, and both active and dormant volcanoes — pretty much paradise, as the cliché goes. Hawaiian culture is both uniquely American and, in many ways, happily incongruous with mainstream American culture. One island in particular, Hawai’i Island (often called the Big Island), produces […]

Natural-Process Espressos: Fruit and Chocolate Exalted

Natural-Process Espressos: Fruit and Chocolate Exalted

I recently led a tasting of fine coffees at a consumer event. Only one of these coffees was natural-processed, i.e., had been prepared at the mill by drying the coffee seeds or beans inside the whole fruit. The other samples were all washed coffees, processed by drying the beans after the fruit skin and flesh […]

Aged, Casked and Cured: Innovations in Green Coffee Conditioning

Aged, Casked and Cured: Innovations in Green Coffee Conditioning

Green, unroasted coffee beans are porous and absorbent. As anyone in the industry knows from painful experience, green beans easily pick up odors from almost anything in their environment — paints stenciled on coffee bags, for example, concrete floors, petroleum residue in shipping containers, cardamom stored in the same warehouse. But where there is a […]

Honey-Processed Coffees: Quiet Adventure

Honey-Processed Coffees: Quiet Adventure

Honey coffee, honey-processing – what wonderful coffee language! It’s a language that sells (after all, most of us like honey), but it sells honestly. I can’t think of a better descriptor than “honey” for a process in which coffee beans are dried with the sticky-sweet, golden layer of fruit flesh still clinging to them, rather […]

Brazil Naturals: Tradition Meets Trend

Brazil Naturals: Tradition Meets Trend

Although Coffee Review has published a number of articles over the years focusing on coffees from Brazil, we have never specifically focused on the coffee type generally called “Brazil naturals”: Brazil coffees of the Arabica species that have been dried inside the fruit rather than after the fruit has been removed (as is the case with conventional […]

Elegant Earth: Wet-Hulled Sumatras and One Sulawesi

Elegant Earth: Wet-Hulled Sumatras and One Sulawesi

Wet-hulling is not an obscure Olympics sailing event nor (at least to my knowledge) a special trick in waterskiing or wakeboarding. It is a fruit removal and drying variation that contributes much of the distinct character of traditional Indonesia coffees, particularly those from Sumatra and Sulawesi. It is also practiced on other Indonesian islands, almost […]

Honey and Natural Process Coffees, Central America 2014

Honey and Natural Process Coffees, Central America 2014

Nine years ago I organized a panel for the Specialty Coffee Association of America called “Using Alternative Processing Methods to Create Product Differentiation: Perspectives and Opportunities.” Presented in Spanish and English, it attracted around five hundred coffee producers and roasters. The overall premise of the panel was simple: coffee is no longer a commodity beverage […]

By September 1, 2014 |Reviews Tasting Report
Dried-in-the-Fruit Refinement: Ethiopia and Yemen Naturals

Dried-in-the-Fruit Refinement: Ethiopia and Yemen Naturals

At this moment I am drinking a cup of a coffee labeled “Ethiopia Amaro Natural.” It was sourced and roasted by Old Soul, an artisan baker and small-batch coffee roaster in Sacramento, California. Aficionados and regular readers of Coffee Review know that “natural” is the latest name for coffee dried inside the whole fruit, rather […]

By November 11, 2013 |Reviews Tasting Report
Honey and Pulped Natural Coffees

Honey and Pulped Natural Coffees

“Honey” is a relatively new term describing coffee that has been dried with all or some of the sticky fruit pulp or “honey” (miel in Spanish) still adhering to the bean. Those familiar with coffee processing methods will, of course, recognize this practice as a kind of compromise between two more familiar processing methods: the […]

By September 3, 2012 |Reviews Tasting Report
Brandy and Surprises: The New Naturals

Brandy and Surprises: The New Naturals

For those unfamiliar with the emerging language of fine coffee the title of this article may be a puzzler. What’s a “natural” and what makes some of these “naturals” “new”? Natural is a positive name marketing-savvy Brazilians came up with some years ago to describe coffees that until that time were called “unwashed” or “dry-processed.” […]

By November 4, 2010 |Reviews Tasting Report
Exotic Procedures in Far Places: Aged, Monsooned and Luwaked Coffees

Exotic Procedures in Far Places: Aged, Monsooned and Luwaked Coffees

This month we review two of the world’s more exotic coffee types – monsooned coffees from India and aged coffees from Sumatra – together with the novelty kopi luwak, a coffee famously processed via the digestive tract of a coffee-fruit-eating mammal, and, perhaps understandably given the procedures involved, currently the world’s most expensive coffee. Monsooned […]

By December 3, 2007 |Reviews Tasting Report
Berries, Wine and Chocolate (Some of the Time): Dry-Processed Coffees of Ethiopia and Yemen

Berries, Wine and Chocolate (Some of the Time): Dry-Processed Coffees of Ethiopia and Yemen

Dry-processed or “natural” coffees from Yemen and Ethiopia (those coffees dried inside the fruit rather than after the fruit has been removed) are the world’s original coffees – and also, in their most recent incarnation, one of the newest trends in coffee. Unfortunately, most of the exotically distinctive coffees I reviewed this month with co-cupper […]

By November 5, 2007 |Reviews Tasting Report
Wet-Processed Ethiopia Coffees

Wet-Processed Ethiopia Coffees

An interesting trivia question to ask people is where coffee originated. Virtually everyone looks confused, and, when pressed, usually tries a Latin-American country: Colombia, say, or Brazil. Of course, Coffee arabica, the species that produces all fine coffees, originated in the highland forests of Ethiopia, in the Horn of Africa. The arabica tree, which still […]