Coffee is dry processed in countries which receive little rain and ample sunshine.
The whole coffee cherry is able to dehydrate onto the bean before it is removed. This processing method allows the most interaction with the coffee’s natural juices, giving the coffee body, and a sweeter, more nuanced flavor profile. Think less acid, more rich and mellow.
Wet processed coffee
Refers to coffee beans that have been extracted via machine. This modern means of processing is less labor intensive and more predictable than removing the seeds through fermenting and washing. However some feel the flavor is more subdued as the beans don’t have the time to acquire more unique flavors. Think higher acidity, and lighter flavor profile.
The pulped natural procedure
Similar to wet processing, and leaves out fermentation entirely, moving on to the drying stage directly after the fruit is removed. This process gives the finished product a balanced flavor profile containing sweet, body, and a little acid. This method is widely used in Brazil, which produce excellently rated coffees using this process.
A little known fact is that some of Brazil’s coffee growing regions are right in the “goldilocks zone” the specific location for processing that has low enough humidity to allow for rapid drying–preventing fermentation. Think a slight reduction in acid and increased body.
A method named for the cherries that float during coffee processing and so are skimmed off, separated, and then passed through wet processing. These cherries dried naturally but not fully on the branch before harvest, and end up producing a sweeter and complex finished product. This coffee is still being tested, and so is not yet widely available.