Washed (Wet) vs Natural (Dry)
Natural "Dry Process"
The natural or "dry process" is the original Ethiopian traditional way of extracting the coffee seeds (beans) from the coffee cherry. Once harvest season comes around, the cherries are picked and laid out on tables to dry out for about 3-6 months. This creates a mild fermentation to the seeds inside giving a sweeter flavor and fuller body to each cup. After the drying process, the cheries are then depulped exposing the seeds (beans) without a mucilage coating.
Washed "Wet Process"
This method of extraction is slightly more involved as the ripe cherries are first depulped, exposing a bean covered in mucilage. The mucilage coating is then washed off and laid out to dry for several weeks. Removing the exterior coating creates a lighter body, brighter cup of coffee.
Whether washed or natural, wet or dry, each coffee variety is unique and shares its own history. Be sure to try each process and enjoy what each one has to offer your palate!