Anaerobic Natural Process
So you've heard Anaerobic Processed coffee is delicious, right? But what is it?
It may have been awhile since your biology classes, so we'll help you out. Anaerobic means existing in the absence of free oxygen.
Anaerobic fermentation is relatively new. Its evil twin, aerobic fermentation, however wherein oxygen IS included has long been a common process. Fermentation will begin as soon as a coffee is picked due to the presence of water, sugar, bacteria, and yeast. The sugars and acids in the coffee’s mucilage are then converted into different acids, CO2, ethyl alcohol, and other compounds. The beans will ferment somewhat differently depending on whether they are washed, naturals, or honeys, therefore leading to a variety of flavors.
Where anaerobic and aerobic processes differ, is that anaerobic (without oxygen) produces a final product with a striking flavor because it produces acids, like lactic acids. The process begins by placing the cherries in sealed tanks which are pressurized from CO2 buildup. The oxygen is let out with release valves. The intense pressure forces the juices and sugars into the bean (at least we think so). There are anaerobic naturals, honeys and washed processed coffees. The fermentation may take place in cherry or de-pulped in the mucilage. Then the coffee is dried in cherry (natural), in mucilage (honey), or washed.