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Coffee: The Three Processes

By Anastasia Arvanites and Kimon Skarlatos

Photo credits: Peter Stog for Lokl Cafe (

Hand holding coffee beans

When purchasing coffee, we often choose based on the roast, hardly ever considering the way it’s processed. But did you know there are a variety of routes to take before the beans are even roasted?

In an eye-opening experience, the Lokl Café team journeyed to Quindio, Colombia, to learn first-hand how our coffee is made.

the journey from farm to cup is a complex one, offering a variety of delicious options

For now, we’ll dive into three basic but tried and true methods: Wash Process, Natural Process, and Honey Process.

The most popular is “washing” or as it’s known in Colombia, “lavado.” The Wash Process involves separating harvested cherries from their peels before placing them in large vats of water for two rounds of washing. While a labor-intensive process, this method results in a clean, balanced flavor profile faster than others.

As its name implies, the Natural Process involves drying harvested cherries in the sun. This old-school practice may take the longest, but it’s worth the wait. Beans processed in this fashion are known to be more flavorful, boasting a unique fruitiness that lends itself to pour-overs.

The final method we explored was the Honey Process. Similar to the Natural Process, it involves separating the cherry from much of its outer parts. Where it differs is the producer’s desired outcome: a thicker pulp layer results in a sweeter coffee, while a thinner coat results in a less sweet option. Either way, this method results in a richer, sweeter flavor profile than the Natural Process.

As you can see, the journey from farm to cup is a complex one, offering a variety of delicious options.

Our team has searched far and wide for farmers that break the mold to ensure your cup is filled with quality coffee. Each farm has a unique flavor story – and we can’t wait to share our own with you.


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