Influences of Processing vs Origin on Green Coffee Flavor

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.

#1: Post by Rickpatbrown »

This is less roasting specific, but I feel 50% of being a good home roaster is in getting good green coffee. Especially since we are talking about ~100lb/year, 10lb mistakes are costly to us. The more I can learn about selecting good greens, the better my coffee.

Anyway, I'm curious to hear a discussion about origin vs processing. This came to mind as I was reading a description that said a certain natural Ethiopia came from 350 farms. Now, I dont know how many square miles and how much different terroir this encompasses, nor have I actually tasted this coffee, but I think this is very common for areas to pool there greens for processing. So the common element is, in fact, the processing.

The other comparison would be different processing from same area. Think about Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. Obviously the natural tastes completely different than the washed.

We also know that washed Kenya tastes very different than washed Ethiopia vs washed Columbia.

I realize that what I'm saying is pretty obvious. I know that both affect the final product. I guess I'm asking about the degree of each. If there were a venn diagram with 3 components (flavor, origin, processing) how would you position the 3? Does processing influence flavor more?

In addition to coffee, I am a big tea nerd. Tea is a little more complex in terms of processing. It involves picking, wilting, roasting, fermenting and aging in some cases. Each of these VASTLY affects the final product. In tea's case, I would say PROCESSING is far more influential ... so long as you are starting with good material. (In case you dont know: black tea, green tea and oolong tea are the same exact plant. They are just processed differently, like natural vs washed vs anerobic. This blew my mind when I first learned about it.)

The practical application of this would be to seek at specific washing stations and processors, rather than growing regions ... or vice versa. Also, I've kind of given up on washed Columbia and Ethiopia coffees. They are a little boring to me. I dont have a delicate palate and prefer the stronger flavors of naturals. But washed Kenyas seem to be rather unique to me, as well. Do I REALLY not like washed Columbia or Ethiopia? Or have I not found the right processing?

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#2: Post by Mbb »

All I can offer is I prefer washed 95% of time

And, I like high grown central americans for everyday drinking. Balanced. No rotten fruit or floral flavors/smells. Usually just past 1C too.

Variety is good, interesting.....but 2 cups/day.....7 days/week.....needs to be palatable. I do angel flight , and my preferences get reinforced frequently

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#3: Post by yakster »


Green coffee suppliers and roasters sometimes offer the same coffee origin with different processing just for this purpose, sometimes from the same lot of coffee. Something to look out for, the processing does make quite a difference.

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