How Does the Drying Process Enhance the Flavor of Coffee Beans


Besides making you feel active and energized, coffee can also stimulate your brain and improve your physical performance. For most people, drinking coffee is the equivalent of drinking a cup of dopamine. However, there’s more to coffee than its energy boosting capabilities. Studies show that the nutty, smoky flavor and aroma of coffee can trigger pleasant feelings and create psychoactive reactions.

Green coffee beans have to be dried and processed to give coffee its rich flavor and smell. Processing methods have a significant impact on the taste and smell of coffee. Drying and roasting produce volatile aromatic compounds in coffee. You may want to know more about how to dry coffee beans if you are a coffee-holic.

Aroma Creation

Simple sugars and polysaccharides degrade and break down during the coffee drying process. Natural drying is the “old school” way of drying coffee. 

Farmers or coffee processing experts spread the cherries on wooden tables or brick patios. Once the cherries are dehydrated, the farmers remove the skin and flesh manually or mechanically to extract the coffee beans. 

Baristas believe that the natural drying process renders fruity flavors to the coffee beans. It takes significantly more time for polysaccharides to break down with sun drying than it would with artificial processing techniques. 

Hence, this technique improves the quality and flavor of the coffee. The coffee beans are roasted after the sun drying process. Naturally dried coffee is popularly known as “unwashed” coffee. 

Complex Flavors

Experts believe that unwashed coffee has heavy, complex flavors. It takes three to six weeks for the drying process to be complete depending on the weather conditions. The beans are raked and turned over several times a day to prevent insect infestations and ensure that the beans are dried evenly on all sides. 

Farmers dry the coffee beans until the moisture content of the cherries reaches 11%. Sun drying is by far the oldest coffee drying technique. The method is also inexpensive since it does not involve the use of high-capacity equipment or machines.

 The “unwashed technique” is used in countries and areas where rainfall is scarce and sunshine is abundant. Other factors like altitude, soil type, and humidity also impact the effectiveness of the drying process of the flavor and aroma of the coffee. 

Slow sun-drying allows for flavor “highlighting” and “suppression.” Exposure to sunlight also gives the coffee smoother and more balanced flavors. Experts assert that this is because sun-drying facilitates the compounding and optimization of caramelization of sugars. 

Harder Coffee Beans

It is vital to learn about how to dry coffee as the process impacts its texture. Farmers and coffee refineries roast dried coffee till they hear the “chorus” or a cracking sound.

Slow sun-drying followed by slow sun roasting gives the coffee a chocolaty, crisp flavor. The drying process makes the beans harder than beans obtained through the “washing” process. 

Sun drying also helps reduce the acidic flavor of the coffee. You may note that sun-dried coffee is not ideal for people who prefer “soft beans.” 

Wrap Up Sun-drying essentially involves the drying of coffee in natural temperatures. The slow process makes coffee taste sweeter and more authentic. Drying and processing techniques have a critical impact on the flavor and aroma of coffee.