Coffee Processing

Ethiopia is home to large quantities of coffee in both of the world’s two major production styles: Sun-dried natural, and fully washed. Certain production styles are more prevalent in certain regions, but in general it is possible to find both styles across the board in Ethiopia. Many countries have one national processing style, either washed (example: Colombia) or natural (example: Haiti). Ethiopia has both, and both on a large scale.

Processing refers primarily to the method of removing the skin, pulp, and parchment from the outer layers of the coffee cherry, to reveal the green coffee bean (actually the seed of the plant) underneath. The manner in which this is done has a huge impact on the flavor of the resulting coffee. Coffee pulp, or mucilage, is very sticky and dense in sugars. Special processes are needed to remove the mucilage from the beans.