From the August 2014 issue.
Often regarded as the inferior Arabica, naturals have risen in prominence in recent years. As market volatility continues to surge, so might the importance of Natural Arabicas.
Industry circles love to debate what beans provide the best quality in the final cup.Natural Arabicas Coffee
The discussion is fuelled by changes in farming and processing practices that are making the hierarchy of beans much less obvious.
Some industry experts are now saying that Natural Arabica beans, which typically command a discount on the market compared to their washed Arabica cousins, are the latest to see their spot on the stepping ladder potentially go up a notch.
“The dry processing science and technology involved in producing Natural Arabicas has improved considerably in the past five years. Today we have a much better understanding of cherry fermentation and the flavour migration processes in Arabica Naturals. But we need to see this discussed much more actively on the global agenda,” says Manual Diaz, a leading international expert on gourmet Robusta and natural Arabica beans.
Diaz is part of a small group of people who launched the 1st International Conference on Arabica Naturals, held in Mexico in 2008. Since then, they have held several more conferences, in places including Yemen and Brazil.