Currently there are different methods for processing coffee after being harvested, however, many of these processes depend on environmental conditions such as climate, soil, precipitation, water, among others, and each of them, a different flavor is obtained as a final result. Every detail is important to obtain a good cup as a result.

In this article we will explain the 3 main processes that can be carried out in the processing of coffee and what differences exist between each one.


This process begins with the harvesting of the grains, which is done manually, then proceeds with the separation of the greenest grains from the pintones and the leaves or some other impurity are removed.

Next, the pulping process begins, which is carried out by a pulping machine that is responsible for separating the shell from the grains contained within the cherry, leaving the shell on one side and the grain on the other, and these are covered by a substance known as mucilage or coffee honey which is later eliminated by placing the coffee beans in fermentation tanks for approximately 12 or 24 hours. The important thing in this process is that the mucilage is completely removed and the grain acquires a rough touch.

Once the fermentation time is over, the grains are washed again and begin drying, this time exposing them on patios or beds.

Unlike the natural method in which the fruit is dried in the sun without being pulped, in the washing method it is the reverse, it begins first with pulping and then proceeds with drying. While in the honey method, the pulping process is similar to the washing method, pulping is also carried out, only this time it is not completely pulped.

Coffees made with this process are characterized by a more pronounced acidity, woody and floral flavors, a lighter body and a cleaner cup.


This method is one of the most recognized because less machinery is required in the process, and less use of water, for which more manual labor is required.

Initially, the whole cherries are dried without removing the shell or skin, however, it is necessary to separate the cherries, for this reason the ripe ones are classified and in good condition from those that are defective or green. This separation process can be done manually or in a washing channel where the ripe cherries float while the green ones sink to the bottom.

Once separated, they are laid out on raised beds or on drying patios and must be stirred to ensure that they all dry at the same time; In general, this process lasts 20 days, but weather conditions play an important factor and it can take up to 4 weeks.

It is necessary to clarify that, if the grain is not dried correctly, it can be affected by fungi and if, on the contrary, it dries excessively, it can become brittle and break, which would make it defective.

The coffees made in this process are characterized by low acidity, fruity and sweet notes.


This method, as we mentioned before, begins by pulping the cherry as in the washing method, only that the pulping is not complete. Unlike the washing method, the mucilage is not removed, but, on the contrary, it is left to dry with this substance.

There are several types of honey called yellow, red and black; the difference between each one is a product of the drying technique and the times used

-The yellow honey is exposed to the sun for approximately 8 days and the grain tends to take on a light yellow color, indicating that the grain has already dried completely.

-The red honey takes a little longer to dry because it does not receive sun and the process is carried out keeping the grain in the shade, for this reason it obtains its characteristic color

-The black honey takes much longer than the previous ones, in this method the coffee is covered by a black plastic to avoid receiving direct sunlight, the result of this method is a darker grain.

Honey coffees have a characteristic flavor in their cup, they usually have fruity notes and a sweet acidity that makes them different.