You've probably heard about "naturals" or "natural process" coffees in the past few years as this process has evolved from being a very traditional method (also known as Dry Process) in countries where water is scarce and where the last of the harvest is usually picked all at once. The coffee is dried on traditional patios and the flavor profile varies from sharply fruity to fermented. When done using highly selected coffee under the watchful eye of a veteran coffee farmer--and roasted by a true artisan roaster--the cup profile can be beautifully fruity and sweet.
We worked with one of our longtime farmer friends, Pedro Romero of Los Popitos in Capucas, Honduras to process a small lot of his organic coffee using the natural method. The coffee was picked at its optimal ripeness, left in the cherry, and initially dried on his patio for two days. The coffee was moved to "African beds" to dry over the course of 20 days while being stirred by hand three times a day to ensure even drying. Then the coffee was left to rest for at least a month to then be hulled, graded, and selected to our strict quality standards.
Higher altitude coffees (between 1200-1700m above sea level) do especially well as the natural process accentuates the higher sugar concentration of these coffees. (Pedro's farm is 1,350m above sea level). In addition to the distinctive flavor profile, a nice benefit of the natural process is that it's environmentally friendly, as no water is used. If you haven't tried a natural coffee, I recommend you give this special lot from Pedro Romero a try. You'll be glad you did!