Coffee Processing: Honey Process
In search for a process to reduce water consumption, the honey process was discovered in Costa Rica.The Process
Honey process or pulped natural is a process in which fresh coffee cherry is mechanically removed and dried without washing. With this process, most of the cherry is gone and what is left is a golden amber color, sticky mucilage and this is why it is called the 'honey' of the coffee fruit.
Compared to other processes, the honey process uses less water that is most beneficial to the producers. The last stage of the honey process usually saves water because the mucilage has to dry on the beans. Producers remove it mechanically without the need for water.
Honey process types are white honey process, yellow honey, red honey and black honey.
- White Honey Process coffee is fermented for a short period of time and dried out in the sun. After drying, the mucilage is washed away and the coffee bean is dried for export.
- Yellow Honey Process coffees are still swiftly fermented, but they normally dry for about a week.
- Red Honey Process coffees spend between two and three weeks drying making it important that the farmer or mill operator is skilled in turning the coffee beans to avoid the coffee turning sour, moldy, and over-fermented.
- Black Honey Processed coffee is the most fermented coffee of the honey process types. Black Honey Process coffee is fermented for at least two weeks and it usually costs the most. Black honey processed coffees give off full sweetness and body.
The History of Honey process
In the past, coffee mills in Costa Rica had used the washed process method, which produces clean and bright flavors, but is water-intensive. Honey processing increased in 2008, when Costa Rica was hit by an earthquake that produced a scarcity of water. This process is a great help for the coffee producers in the country.
What is the tasting profile of Honey process coffee?
Honey process coffee has flavors of chocolate, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cedarwood, according to coffee experts. Fruity, complex with a low acidity and intense sweetness.
What brewing method is recommended?
Honey processed coffee is recommended to brew in Espresso and Filter Coffee (Black coffee) to enhance the coffee flavour.
Honey processed coffee gives a great coffee flavor that will go well with waffles, buttermilk pancakes, French toast, banana bread, coffee cake and danishes.