Coffee is processed in different ways. Sometimes for economic reasons, sometimes because of the potential of coffee. Let's briefly and simply look at the basic ones.
When the coffee cherries are harvested (yes, coffee is a fruit), ideally by hand, they are (again, ideally!) re-sorted and the immature, overripe, rotten, etc. are discarded. Subsequently, the pulp is removed mechanically, usually by means of rotating discs with protrusions. Sticky and sweet slime still remains on the grains. The grains are allowed to ferment for a short time, with each farmer having his own fermentation procedures. Fermentation makes (among other things) that slime can be removed much more easily. The grains are washed several times in clean water and remain clean in their parchment layer. Parchment is the outer layer of the grain, as if it was a shell, which remains on the grains until they are sent to the roasters. Before that, the grains still need to be dried in partial shade. Turn regularly until they reach a humidity of about 11 percent. During this process, the grains are constantly sorted and the damaged ones are placed in the "second class".
Washed are usually cleaner and clearer. They glow without anything obscuring them. We can also find fruit tones in them. But tones of forest and fermented fruit are not common.
It's the oldest way to process coffee. It is still used in many countries. Unlike washed, where the pulp is removed as soon as possible (within 6 hours of harvest), it remains there the entire drying time. Coffee beans are like sponges - they absorb the flavors that are created during this process. Thus, after harvesting, the coffee is usually placed on raised beds, which allow good air circulation. In addition, imperfect cherries are still being picked. As whole cherries are dried, they are prone to various defects, molds, etc. It is therefore necessary to constantly care and look over the coffee during the entire drying time, which can be 3-4 weeks. When the required grain moisture (about 11 percent) is reached, the coffee is placed in a machine that "grinds" the dried fruit (pulp) layer with the parchment layer. The resulting green coffee is again sorted and packed in bags for export. Beans that are not of the desired quality are not discarded, they are sold as commodity coffee.
The Natural process can bring the taste of blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. At the same time, the taste of fermentation is also stronger, which can be manifested by the taste of overripe fruit. E.g. overripe bananas. There are people who look for this taste in coffee, and vice versa, the people who mind it.
Yellow, Red and Black Honey. During this processing, only the skin is removed from the coffee cherry and as much pulp as possible is left on the bean - sweet and sticky slime. The name honey took hold because the slime is also very sweet and sticky. And it sounds better than "Slime Processing". With yellow honey, the coffee begins to dry as quickly as possible in the sun, spread in a thin layer. If we want a more fruity and fermented taste than with red and black honey, the coffee is first placed in the shade in the greenhouse on larger piles, where it ferments. It depends on the specific procedure. The coffee is dried in this way, usually for 2-3 weeks, until it reaches moisture of about 11 percent. Subsequently, the coffee is stored in a parchment layer until it is exported. Then the parchment is removed, put in bags and exported.
Yellow honey is the finest and most reminiscent of washed.
Red honey, more fruitiness and more syrupy body.
Black honey is more burgundy, blueberry, rum and it is such an easier version of natural processing. For example, the new Las Lajas from Costa Rica is abnormal materializing Black Honey processing.