After the harvest, there are three methods of treating the fruit of the coffee plant. These methods are called Natural, Pulp Natural and Fully Washed. Depending on the method, the taste of coffee is strongly influenced.
The fruit of the coffee plant has two or sometimes one coffee bean (peaberry). When we collect the ripe fruit from the coffee tree, the coffee beans are enclosed by the fruit and they have humidity above 50%. We use one of the three methods to reduce the humidity of the bean to 11-12%, in order to avoid the beans from molding as well as to be able to roast them.
The first method is called Natural. As soon as we gather the ripe fruit from the tree, we spread it to dry under the light and warmth of the sun. In the evening we gather it, in order to stretch it back the next day. We do this every day for almost two weeks. When the fruit becomes dry, we break it and then we remove the beans. Through this process, the coffee beans absorbs sugars and other substances from the coffee fruit. So Natural coffees are usually sweeter with higher body and stronger finish, aftertaste.
The second method is called Fully Washed. As soon as we gather the ripe fruit from the tree, we break it and remove the beans. Then we place them in large tanks with water. We let the beans for 24 hours to complete the fermentation. Then we rinse the beans well and after stretch them under the sun for two weeks to reduce the humidity to 11-12%. Because of the fermentation, sweetness is reduced, but the acidity arises.
The third method is called Pulp Natural (semi-washed). As soon as we gather the ripe fruit from the tree, we break it, thus removing the beans and spreading immediately under the sun. Because they do not rinse with water, as Fully washed, part of the fruit remains on the coffee bean when it dries. Indeed, because of the color obtained during drying, the method is also called, honey process. Pulp Natural coffees are usually more flavor balanced with milder acidity.