Have you ever tried a natural processed coffee with notes of strawberries or blueberries? You definitely should and join the discussion with the rest of the coffee community. Is this still coffee? Lately, a Barista told me that one of his guests complained about a natural coffee from Ethiopia. He couldn’t drink it, he said, because it reminded him of the taste of a blueberry muffin.
I remember my first natural coffee at Mahlefitz in Munich (café is now closed), when I just had started to get to know coffee. I will always remember how enthusiastic I have been after this first cup. Welcome to blueberry heaven! So what is the deal with this processing method, that is the very traditional way in Ethiopia to process coffee?
Processing coffee in a few words
After harvesting the fruit, also called coffee cherry or berry, coffee processing is the next very important step. There are a lot of ways to process coffee. The two basic ones are natural (or dry) and wet. Others are pulped natural, honey processed or wet hulled. The reason why you process coffee is to dry the fruits down to a safe moisture content (10-12%). It also effects the taste in the cup. The secret of natural processed coffee is the sweetness. The reason is very simple. After harvesting the cherries, the seeds remain inside the fruit. With reabsorption the sweetness of the pulp, the beans are getting more sweet, have less acidity and a richer body compared to other processing methods. Beside this, there are not many possibilities to influence the bean quality.
Natural processed coffee can taste like a fruit tea
With sometimes incredible notes of strawberries or blueberries (my favorite brew coffee) a natural processed coffee can just blow your mind. You don’t have to be a cupping expert for this. A lot of coffee professionals fell in love with coffee because of this kind of flavor. For other people it’s just shocking. Often you hear the question if this fruit bomb is still coffee. It tastes more like a fruit tea to many people. Some coffee professionals are saying that even the coffee processing itself is wrong. Not meaning the flavors are unwanted. But a fruit bomb can hide subtle faults.
Shocking or surprising your guests
Looking from a consumer perspective, it’s a great way to enjoy a sweet coffee with wonderful fruity notes and less acidity. For so many coffee drinkers, acidity is something they don’t want to have in their cup. This might be a great deal for them. If you are running a coffee shop, please keep in mind that this kind of coffee can be shocking or fascinating to your guests. If you like to know more about natural processed coffee and how to find and prepare it, please feel free to contact me.