Learn — Washed Coffee: Process & Flavour – Old Spike
Learn — Washed Coffee: Process & Flavour

Learn — Washed Coffee: Process & Flavour


In the world of specialty coffee, pursuit of perfection leads to a myriad of unique and exquisite flavours. In this short guide, we'll immerse ourselves in the realm of washed specialty coffee, exploring the meticulous processing methods involved and slurping up the cup characteristics that define this refined coffee experience.

Coffee cherry processing on drying beds

The Art of Washing

Washed coffee is the embodiment of precision and craftsmanship. It all begins at the coffee farms, where ripe cherries are selectively handpicked, ensuring only the finest fruits make the cut. The true magic, however, happens during the processing stage.

Coffee cherries being sorted

Coffee Processing

The hallmark of washed coffee is its pristine cleanliness. After harvesting, the cherries undergo a meticulous process of depulping, where the outer fruit is removed, leaving only the coffee beans. What sets washed coffee apart is the subsequent fermentation. The beans are soaked in water to remove the sticky mucilage, a step that demands precision and keen attention. The duration of fermentation plays a crucial role in shaping the final flavour too, with the beans being washed and carefully dried once this step is completed.

Filter coffee in a carafe on a wooden table with an info card

Tasting Characteristics

The labour-intensive processing of washed coffee yields a cup that's characterised by its refined and pristine flavour profile. At the risk of sounding like an under qualified sommelier, let’s dive into characteristics that make washed specialty coffee so special:

Clarity: Washed coffee is renowned for its clarity and precision. The flavours are distinct, well-defined, and often exquisitely balanced.

Bright Acidity: One of the standout features of washed coffee is its bright acidity. It's akin to a zesty, musical note that dances on your palate, awakening your senses with each sip. This acidity is often likened to citrus or floral notes, bringing an invigorating and refreshing aspect to the cup.

Clean Body: The body of washed coffee is usually described as clean, often with a tea-like quality. It's not too heavy, allowing the nuances of the flavours to shine through without being overshadowed.

Complex Flavours: Washed coffee offers a complex flavour spectrum. It's like a journey through a fragrant garden, with notes of jasmine, bergamot, and a plethora of delicate floral undertones. Fruity hints are also present, with the potential for tasting elements of peach, lemon, or even a hint of green apple.

Person holding coffee cup in front of an espresso machine


Washed specialty coffee is the epitome of precision and elegance in the world of specialty coffee. From the careful selection of cherries to the meticulous processing and the resulting flavour profile, every aspect is a testament to the dedication and artistry of coffee producers.

So, next time you're sipping a new washed coffee, take a moment to appreciate the clarity, the brightness, and the intricate dance of flavours that make it a masterpiece of the coffee world. And if you need pointing in the direction of some delicious beans, check out our range of washed coffees here.