honey processed coffee
in recent years, the common man has access to honey processed coffee. this coffee is now talk of the town, and a roaster must keep one varietal with this processing. so what is honey processing and why is it so sought after?
to clear the concept of honey processing is a way of processing the coffee cherry. yes, coffee beans are not grown out of the soil, they grow on trees on cherries! when the cherry is ripe, it is picked. this cherry possess two coffee beans inside it. sometimes just one, then we call it a peaberry. to obtain coffee beans from the cherry we must do away with everything but the beans inside. that’s processing.
the traditional method of processing coffee is the indigenous to the west-african biome. it is called dry processing. after all the sorting and sieving, we leave the ripened cherry in the sun for 3~4 weeks. they are then stored in silos and the cherry mucilage is removed by hulling. this is not practical in high rainfall regions.
the industrial method of processing coffee is the wet processing. the picked berries are immersed in water, sorted and left to ferment. the fermentation takes about 8~40 hours. in the end, the beans are washed and left to dry in the sun or machine. this process used to be environmentally detrimental, but has improved with technology.
the honey process is in between both the stages. a small amount of pulp is left on coffee. after pealing the skin, the coffee is dried . the pulp is is sticky and sweet like honey, this why the name honey processing.
Why is honey processed coffee sought after?
honey processed coffee is a step ahead from the natural processed or washed coffee. the honey processed coffee beans exhibit enhanced sweetness, and fruity flavors. the acidity is mellow and the mouthfeel is thicker.
as you go down the darkness of the honey grade, more enhanced will the sweetness be. that’s why black honey is largely used in espresso, also we recommend yellow honey for your v60’s.
Difference between the white, yellow, red, golden and black honey processing?
in the white and yellow honey processing mucilage left on the coffee is less whereas in the darker shades i.e red, golden and black. the darker the honey, more work, risk involved. it has to be closely monitored to avoid over fermentation.