Every time you drink coffee it ought to blow your mind because it’s bursting with flavor, body, aroma.  Here’s 3 types of coffee you’ll usually find in any specialty cafe shop worth its salt.  Try them.   Even if you don’t love them they will test the outer limits of your taste buds.

1. Dry Naturals or Pulped Naturals

Want to learn more about specialty coffee? These 3 Coffee Varieties Will Blow Your MindWant to learn more about specialty coffee? These 3 Coffee Varieties Will Blow Your MindWant to learn more about specialty coffee? These 3 Coffee Varieties Will Blow Your Mindjavalush-dry-naturalYou get wild fruity flavors in Dry Naturals and Pulped Naturals, also called Honeys, evoking blueberry, strawberry, mango.  The fruity aroma can be so strong that you’d mistake the coffee for a flavored blueberry coffee.   Purists state that these are actually flavor defects.  Others love them.

Your local specialty cafe should have at least 1 of these considering that 10% of the world’s coffee is processed as either “dry naturals” or “pulped naturals.”

These are coffees that were prepared by allowing the coffee cherry to dry completely like a raisin in the sun before the beans were extracted.  The traditional method of processing freshly harvested coffee beans is called wet processed where the coffee skin and fruit are removed as quickly as possible (within hours) after they’re picked.

In Dry Naturals, the skin remains on during drying.  In Honeys, the skins are removed exposing the sweet smelling pulp underneath (thus, Honeys). Four countries are known for dry naturals / honeys:  Ethiopia, Yemen, Brazil and India, though more countries are selling them these days because they command a premium.  In India, there’s an additional kind called Monsooned coffee.  There the coffee beans are left to dry during monsoon season in open door warehouses.  The beans received rain, then dry, in a multi-month cycle.  This often yields a mellow fruity flavor.

2. A light roast

Want to learn more about specialty coffee? These 3 Coffee Varieties Will Blow Your MindWant to learn more about specialty coffee? These 3 Coffee Varieties Will Blow Your MindWant to learn more about specialty coffee? These 3 Coffee Varieties Will Blow Your Mindjavalush-roast-levelsLight roasts are the heart of third wave coffee that encourages appreciating the uniqueness of single-origins and estate coffees.  Generally the lighter the roast the more origin character you’ll be able to discern in the cup.  You’ll encounter a much wider range of flavors in light roasted coffee, including the citrus that is all the rage on the coffee catwalk.  Just note that you might not actually like the flavor in some light roasts — there might not be enough body for you, too much citrus, especially if you like bold and flavorful coffee.

3. Sumatra Mandheling.

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Don’t let the tiger scare you.  This coffee is worth it.  If you want a dark rich full-bodied coffee, try a Sumatra Mandheling.  It has the consistency and flavor that coffee aficionados jokingly call jungle fungus.  It’s usually dark roasted.  It is the polar opposite of a light roast.  No acidity.  Full body.  Mossy.  Woodsy. Just like drinking a pint of Guinness.  If you were setting up a coffee tasting you’d do well to contrast a Sumatra Mandheling with a light roast from Latin America to bring out the contrasts.

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