The nature of the El Manzano project is to isolate only one variable at a time; therefore it is necessary for the coffees within the experiment to be processed in an identical method.
While the machine washed method was the first considered for the experiment, the decision was made last minute to conduct the experiment with the natural method, meaning that the coffees would be dried on the patios, still within the cherry. During processing, they would only be washed and separated into sinkers and floaters, but not de-pulped.
While it would have been just as valuable and interesting to use any of the other processing methods, the decision to process the coffees naturally, was made for one primary reason.
It has often been stated, that while the natural processing method brings out many intense and exciting flavors in a coffee, it ultimately takes away from the coffees natural terroir, or internal qualities that make it unique to all others.
Being that this experiment observed four different varieties of coffee, we decided to also put the notion and opinion about natural coffees to the test. Each of the these coffees is Strictly High Grown, and from Finca El Manzano, the Pacamara, Red & Yellow Bourbon coming from the exact same plot, while the Kenya, planted the same year, was harvested from only 50 meters above; however, being different varietals, should contain very unique flavors.
Once these coffees reach the cupping table, it will be evident whether or not they have retained that uniqueness, despite having been processed with the natural method.