Coffee processing methods I. - honey

ORIGIN OF THE METHOD - REGIONS 

Honey processing is used primarily in Costa Rica. This is the main way in which coffee is processed after harvest. This method is also widely used in Brazil, where higher quality coffees are processed in this way, which have the potential to develop more fruity tones thanks to this method of processing. 

The undeniable advantage of the Honey method is its low consumption of the amount of water used in coffee processing. What influences the final taste of coffee the most, apart from the region, the climate during cultivation and the variety, is its processing.

When using the Honey method, two basic factors depend, the first being the amount of pulp left on the grain. The second factor is the length of drying and the solar intensity during it. 

 The Honey method preserves some of the coffee-like taste aspects that are processed by the Natural method. These aspects are above all robust coffee body, sweet fruit sweetness and low acidity. At the same time also according to the chosen method of processing (eg White Honey, Yellow Honey, etc.) it retains the original taste properties of the coffee, which would be most pronounced when processed by the washed method.

These properties are, for example, freshness, fruitiness and juiciness. Basically, this means that the more pulp and juice left on the bean, the closer the coffee is to natural coffees, and the less pulp we leave, the closer it gets to washed coffee.

 

This method speeds up the time the grains dry and thus reduces the risk of mold developing. During drying, the grains must be very well aerated, because there must be no excessive fermentation, which in this process takes place at the same time as the coffee is dried. Prefermented tones in coffee are not entirely desirable and if there are too many, they may not be perceived positively. VThe greater the risk that coffee will be re-fermented is with coffees that have a higher percentage of pulp and juice left on the bean. Insufficient care of the coffee during drying can damage the entire harvest.

HONEY METHOD DISTRIBUTION

It is not specified anywhere what percentage of pulp and juice should be left on the grain. Individual quantities may also vary within individual processors and the following breakdowns therefore, rather indicative. Some processors combine other methods and try to experiment to achieve uniqueness and the best possible result in the cup.

 

In our offer you can currently taste Geisha coffee, which is grown in Costa Rica and is processed by the Black Honey anaerobic method, which means that this coffee fermented without air access, leaving the largest amount of pulp on the bean.

 

BLACK HONEY
length: 0 - 10%
drying: covered / shaded
coffee: sweet, low acidity rich and full body

RED HONEY
length: 25 - 30%
drying: exposed, partial shade
coffee: sweet with fruit tones and jam flavors

YELLOW HONEY
length: 50%
drying: exposed
coffee: floral, lighter body, pleasant fruitiness of ripe fruits
 
GOLDEN HONEY
length: 75%
drying: exposed
coffee: citrus tones, lighter body with medium acidity
 
WHITE HONEY
length: 100%
drying: exposed
coffee: clean, sparkling and light body with medium to higher acidity


PROCEDURE (HOW TO DO IT)

The first step is to selectively harvest only ripe coffee fruits. Coffee cherries can pass through a water sorter, as is the case in most plants in Brazil. At this stage, the first qualitative distribution of coffee cherries is made based on the fruit density. In Costa Rica, this sorting phase is omitted and the processing itself proceeds directly. On the disc shredder, the coffee cherries are stripped of a certain percentage of the pulp according to the farmers' request, and the beans processed in this way are dried to the required moisture content (9-11%). After drying, the grains are stripped of their outer skin (parchment), sorted and then packed. The grains processed in this way can now be sent to the roaster.

 

If you would like to taste coffees that are processed by this method, you can search for them on our e-shop thanks to the filter. 

The following are currently on offer:

https://coffeesource.eu/collections/nase-kava/honey