Understanding Natural Anaerobic and Natural Classic Fermentation in Coffee Processing

Our favorite everyday booster originates from a group of coffee cherries. The way they were planted, picked, and processed resulted in a particular taste at the tip of our tongue. While there are various ways to process coffee cherries, this post will focus only on natural anaerobic and natural classic fermentation. Although both methods do change the sweetness, body, and acidity of coffee cherries, they are different in nature; such difference resulting in different outcomes.

What is natural classic fermentation?

Natural classic fermentation is the oldest coffee processing method in the book where freshly picked coffee cherries are placed on drying beds and dried up under the sun. For the next few weeks, they will be fermented. In order to prevent spoiling, coffee farmers need to rake and rotate them frequently. However, if not done properly, the coffee cherries can get moldy. The taste of naturally processed coffee cherries is also hard to replicate due to the inconsistencies in fermentation.

What is natural anaerobic fermentation?

Natural anaerobic fermentation is an innovative coffee processing method where coffee cherries are kept in a closed container with no oxygen so that the fermentation process is accelerated. It is meant to intensify the natural flavors to become something richer than standard coffee or any other coffee that you usually consume. Timing is of the essence to avoid extra fermentation which could develop fermented tastes. Other variables include temperature, sugars, and pH - all which will affect the final result.

We at Tuang Coffee are committed to continuously improve the quality of our coffee cherries in order to provide our local coffee farmers even better access to the specialty coffee market. With this in mind, we prefer natural anaerobic fermentation to natural classic fermentation, because it enables us to make the most out of coffee and add aromatically unique characteristics to the coffee itself. If you are up to trying out a layered and complex taste of specialty coffee, our anaerobically processed coffee beans may be the perfect choice for you. 

However, this does not mean that we do not implement natural classic fermentation. As a matter of fact, natural classic fermentation is our preferred method for non-specialty coffee. That way, those who are probably not up to trying intense flavor notes (yet!) can still opt for our range of naturally processed coffee beans.

There is always a story behind every cup of coffee as the transformation from a group of coffee cherries to a cup of coffee itself is lengthy where some could even take up to a few years. What happens during the process is also a mixture of nature’s magic and science. All in all, the whole process makes drinking coffee more of a personal multi-sensory experience rather than just a daily habit and we are more than happy to be your company in this journey, whatever your preference in coffee is.

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