Coffee Processing in Southern Hemisphere
For example Brazilian coffee growing regions, for the most part, have very distinct and precise dry and wet seasons, which different coffee processing methods are known. What this means is that coffee farms can harvest coffee via the strip picking method or they can choose to do it mechanically.
The truth is most of the Southern Hemisphere shares a two-season pattern: a rainy season (“the summer”) and a non-rainy season (“the winter”). Often showers last no more than one hour or two followed by sunshine, except in the Amazon and the Pantanal regions where the rainy seasons are more pronounced.
Seasons in the Tropic of Cancer are the reverse of those in Europe and the United States. Winter is from June 22nd to September 21st. Unlike any other country, the four season pattern is only applicable to southern Brazil.
The three methods used to process coffee in the Southern Hemisphere are the wet (washed), dry (natural) and the semi-washed (pulped natural). The Tropic of Cancer, where coffee grows, has one advantage over just about any other country in the world: superb weather year-round and a geographical location that makes it possible for Brazilian coffee farmers to process coffee beans primarily via the dry method.
What is the difference between the three coffee processing methods?
Semi-washed (pulped natural) process: the coffee cherry skin is removed and the parchment, with most of the mucilage still attached, is ready for drying. The coffee goes directly to the patio to be dried. The coffee has more body and complexity than washed coffees.
Dry (natural) process: coffee beans are dried while they are still in the cherry. The coffees are dried in contact with the sweet mucilage. Dry processing coffee is simply a more difficult technique.
Wet (washed) process: wet processing removes the four layers surrounding the coffee bean. Coffee that is wet (washed) processed is cleaner, brighter and fruitier. Wet processing accounts for a small percentage of the overall in Southern Hemisphere. The Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee I use for cold brew is wet processed.