The cherry is completely pulped off, then fermented overnight and washed clean before the drying process. The coffee is dried with parchment left on for 20-30 days (until around 11% moisture), then rested for 30 days, called a repose, at which time the parchment is removed. It typically results in cleaner and clearer flavors. This processing method is largely found in Central and South America.
As a quick method of processing, the full cherry is left on during the drying process without pulping the cherry or intentionally fermenting. Once dried, the hardened cherry is removed via dry-huller. It typically results in fruitier and heavier flavors. This processing method originated and is used extensively in Ethiopia where water is more scarce (avg. 3.6 inches of rainfall a month).
Named for the stickiness of the process, only the mucilage is left intact to differing degrees during the drying process, which lasts between 4 and 8 weeks. Varying turning actions during this time are sometimes labelled as white, red, black, or yellow honeyed. This process leaves a sweet, but refined flavor profile.
Developed and used in Indonesia, primarily the island of Sumatra, this processing method favors quick turnaround times in order to make more money with less work, but yields a wildly unique flavor profile. The coffee is pulped, fermented overnight, then dried for only a couple of hours (around 50% moisture) before being sold to mill operators who then strip the parchment off using a wet-huller (engine powered machine) and dry the coffee on the ground.
We, as food consumers, are rarely treated to the amazing diversity of everyday crops. There are a few that we are familiar enough with... such as Granny Smith vs. Red Delicious vs. Honeycrisp [apples], Cabernet Sauvignon vs. Riesling vs. Pinot Noir [grapes], or Beefsteak vs. Roma vs. Brandywine [tomatoes]. But have you heard of Lady Finger, Gros Michel, or Goldfinger [bananas]; or Hungry Gap, Jersey, or Kai-lan [kale]; or Georgia Green, SunOleic 97R, or Southern Runner [peanuts]?
Well... coffee has hundreds of varietals [a.k.a. cultivars or varieties], too. And it is just as rare to see them presented as such on packaging by most of the larger coffee roasters in the world.
The different varietals of coffee have been transplanted by colonizers and corporations, and cross-pollinated by nature and scientists. Exactly like other crops, each varietal is comprised of some unique genetic material that translates into differences in hardiness, size, susceptibility to disease, ease of growth, and flavor profile in the cup, among other things.
At Rev, we tend to continually favor a handful of varietals over many others. These are our go-to's for finding quality coffees, but it also excites us to venture outside of them from time to time. Bourbons and Typicas [and all of their variants and progeny] are some of our favorites. They are typically more balanced and of higher quality.