Washed Coffee 101 – Good Citizen

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Washed Coffee 101

Finca Cedral Alto is back and ready to prove old friends can still surprise you! ⁠

This light roast coffee is from the Terrazu region of Costa Rica. Jorge Vasquez runs the farm that brings these delicious beans to your brew. With over 40 years of production experience, Jorge aims to bring his family’s tradition of coffee growing to you and improve specialty coffee for Costa Rica through his farm.

This is Good Citizen’s third year purchasing from Finca Cedral Alto, but this version of coffee may be a little different than the one you’ve grown to love more recently. This past harvest, the Finca Cedral Alto we purchased was a natural processed coffee, but this year we are bringing back both natural and washed coffees.  So why is that significant? ⁠And what does washed coffee really mean? 

To start off, we have to remember that coffee is a fruit. Coffee beans are grown inside these cherry-like fruits and can either be processed with or without their layers on. Just like a cherry, the fruit surrounding your coffee beans is gushy and messy. 

For the washed method, farmers will run the cherry-like fruits through a mill to pull off all the layers of the fruit, give the inner core a wash in water, and then let it dry before packaging. Washed processing of coffee leaves the coffee with a clean acidity which allows for lively, bright characteristics that speak to specialty coffee drinkers. 

On the other hand, when a farmer naturally processes coffee, they leave the layers of the fruit and let the seed sit on the inside. By leaving the beans in their fruit, it allows for a more fruity flavor profile with the sugars from the fruit interacting with the beans for an extended period in this method. 

These two common processing methods (washed and natural) result in different flavor profiles for your coffee bean. Have you ever had a cup of coffee that is super fruity, maybe it even tastes like rum or raisins? You probably were drinking a naturally processed coffee. These two different flavor profiles can be really polarizing - you typically either love or hate naturals (our team is pretty divided about it!), but one thing we can all agree on is the options it opens up for how we experience our coffee!⁠

This particular washed coffee tastes like lime, chocolate graham, and is a creamy cup of coffee for any time of day.⁠ We hope you savor these pure flavors ‘til the last drop. 


Beyond the Brew is a place for all things education, inspiration, and transparency for biodiverse farming and sustainable coffee consumption through Good Citizen. If you have any questions or requests, please reach out to hello@goodcitizen.com