April 24, 2023 3 min read

How to Tell the Difference Between Washed, Natural, and Honey Processed Coffees
Coffee enthusiasts, rejoice! It's never been easier to get the best specialty coffee online from one of the best craft coffee roasters. Whether you’re looking for washed, natural, or honey processed coffees, this blog post will give you an overview of what each type of specialty processed coffee tastes like and how to properly prepare it. Read on to learn more about the difference between washed, natural, and honey processed coffees.
What is Washed Coffee?
Washed coffee is a processing method that involves the removal of organic matter from freshly harvested coffee cherries and then washing them with water before drying. This method allows for the freshest craft coffee online by preserving the full flavor of the beans. As a result, washed coffees are one way to process the best specialty coffee online in terms of flavor, body, and aroma. The process also enables the producers to control the moisture content of the beans, allowing for more precision when roasting. In general, washed coffees are well-balanced and offer a clean, crisp cup.
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What is Natural Coffee?
Natural sundried, also called “natural process” or “dry process,” is a method of processing coffee where the cherries are left intact as they are dried in the sun. The cherries are first picked, floated in water, and sorted to remove any under-ripe or overripe fruit. This type of coffee offers a unique cup that is often full of body and sweetness, as the fruit and sugars from the coffee cherry are left intact. Natural coffees tend to be most popular in areas with dry climates, like Ethiopia and Yemen, which makes it difficult to find these coffees outside of their origin countries. But luckily for specialty coffee lovers, you can find some of the freshest small batch natural coffees online, allowing you to get the freshest craft coffee online without having to travel the world.
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What is Honey Processed Coffee?
Honey processed coffee, also known as Pulped Natural, is the freshest specialty coffee online that's been produced in between the natural and washed methods. It’s made by removing the outer skin of the cherry, just like in a washed process, but then only some of the mucilage (the sticky layer) is removed, leaving the rest of it on the bean. This technique results in a flavor profile that lies somewhere between naturally processed and washed coffee. Depending on the region and producer, a honey processed coffee can range from having an almost washed-like cleanliness to a syrupy, sweet natural coffee.
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How to Prepare Each Type of Coffee
Washed coffee is best prepared with a traditional drip method to achieve a bright, clean, and balanced cup. The coffee should be ground medium to medium-coarse for the best flavor across most brewing methods.
Natural coffee is one of the more popular specialty coffees available. It has a deep, pungent, sweet, and complex flavor profile that can be best appreciated when brewed with a pour over method. Natural coffees have a heavier body than other specialty coffees, so a medium/fine grind should be used to achieve the best flavor.
Honey processed coffees are unique in that they use a hybrid processing method, which gives them a unique flavor profile. These coffees are best brewed using a pour-over or french press method to bring out their sweetness and complexity. Honey processed coffees should be ground in the same way as natural coffees, but not as coarse as washed coffees, for optimal extraction.
Tasting the Differences
When it comes to specialty coffee, each processing method brings out unique flavor profiles that can be appreciated by any coffee enthusiast. Washed processed coffee is typically characterized as a balanced and clean cup of coffee with subtle notes of acidity and sweetness. Natural processed coffee brings out the boldest and most distinct flavors like pungent fruits and sweetness. Honey processed coffee is a unique blend between washed and natural coffee, combining the balanced cleanliness of washed with the pungent fruitiness of natural, plus an extra dose of honey-like sweetness.
No matter your preference, you can find the best small batch coffee online and experience these different flavors firsthand. With freshness guaranteed from I Prefer Craft Coffee, you can always trust that you’re getting the freshest small batch coffee online, delivered directly to your door.