Winey Process: An Innovation in Coffee Processing
Coffee processing is one of the initial stages in the coffee beans’ journey from seed to cup, in which producers remove the outer layers of the coffee cherry to expose the green coffee beans that we then roast. Ultimately the method used for processing coffee greatly changes the flavour of the final cup of coffee and it is an important element we take into consideration when we curate our coffee.
Coffee is traditionally processed in three ways: natural, washed, and honey. But thanks to advancements in technology, producers are now developing other interesting post-harvest processing methods that have been gaining popularity amongst coffee lovers. One such contemporary method, inspired by the characteristics of wine, is known as the Winey process.
Inspired by the strong, fragrant and fermented cup profiles of wine, Winey process is a processing method in which coffee cherries are left to over-ripen, dry and then ferment under sunlight. The Winey processing method is still rather rare, although it is quite similar to natural wash; the main difference is that coffee beans are being kept under the sunlight longer. The natural process is when coffee beans are dried with only the help of the sun for about 2 weeks. The winey processing method requires more time and can take up to 60 days. Thus, not only more time, but also more labour is needed to produce a Winey process coffee. Once the cherries start to resemble raisins, they are collected, sorted, and depulped. These coffee beans are then dried again to achieve the desired moisture content level of 12%-14%. Coffee beans used in Winey processing are harvested not at the peak of harvest but two weeks after. This results in a more active fermentation process and a higher concentration of sugar, creating a higher acidity level and giving the coffee a signature aroma.
It is worth noting that, while there is a wine-like quality reflected in the aroma of winey process coffee beans, they do not contain any alcohol when brewed. The final result is a rich, sweet cup that offers a lot of complexity and would appeal to a wide range of coffee drinkers. The next time you're looking for a new coffee experience, why not try a new process?!
We invite you to experience the rich flavours of the Caribbean with our Winey process, single origin coffee from the Dominican Republic. As a limited edition, this specialty coffee is only available in 454 g bags, and only while quantities last.