Specialty coffees refer to coffees grown under micro climate conditions which product highly aromatic coffees. It is this desired affect which produces unique aromas and pleasant characteristics.
The fruit of the coffee tree is called cherries. The cherries ripen from green to yellow to red. The ripened cherries have a red outer skin. Inside the cherries are two beans which are covered by a thin membrane called parchment and silver skin which is surrounded by pulp inside the skin of the cherry.
Processing must take place to remove the coffee beans from the cherries. There are two types of methods used; wet process and dry process. The wet process starts with a machine which removes the skin and most of the pulp. The product is then placed in fermentation tanks then dried. Finally a machine removes the remaining parchment and silver skin to expose the green coffee bean.
The dry process starts by drying the cherries in the sun for several weeks, carefully raking the turning them. Finally, the dried beans are processed by a machine which removes the remaining parchment and silver skin.
The different processing methods produce noticeable differences in aroma and flavor.