What is Honey Process? I don’t know why but Honey Process is the one process I find difficult to do a blog about… but hey lets give it a go ! You have Natural, Washed and Honey coffees, the determining factor is the amount of cherry left on the bean before drying. Unlike Natural Process coffees, which have the Cherry left on, Honey Process coffees only have part. In comparison Washed coffees have the Cherry totally removed. Honey and Natural Process cup profiles are more heavy bodied and sweeter than Washed Coffees because the sugars from the cherry have had longer to impart upon the bean. The name Honey Process has become related to the sweeter cup profile however it’s due to the fact that mucilage is left on the beans, and mucilage is very sweet and sticky. The Honey Process has strong ties to Costa Rica where, in recent years, sub categories have emerged White, Golden, Yellow, Black and Red Honey. These subcategories highlight how the process affects the overall Cup Profile because the amount of mucilage left on varies. Intrigued… Want to try a Honey Process… El Salvador Finca San Ernesto is our current honey offering… Cup Profile Maple Orange Almond…. (Continues below pic)
El Salvador Finca San Ernesto Honey Process
Honey Process… Perfectly ripe cherries are handpicked then depulped leaving their mucilage attached (this is a layer of flesh on the beans). They are then spread on drying beads. This process takes approx 10 / 12 days at this point water content of the beans should be approx 12%. Due to the fact no water is used in this process it’s an environmentally friendly coffee.
Located in Comasagua the family owned farm dates back to the 1870’s. Mr Juan Urrutia started the family tradition, producing coffee, when he planted the first coffee trees in the volcanic soil at a high altitude, 1100 (m). Their first crop was 27 bags. Flowering occurs between April and May, cherries are harvested later from November to December.
The area is home to many species, there are 24 different species of mammal and over 120 species of migatory birds. All Urrutia Estate coffees are 100% shade grown. The farm is certified Rainforest Alliance. Native trees are planted annually and help prevent erosion, izote and copalchi trees are natural wind barriers.
Brew method ……We have been really enjoying her as drip through coffee so grab your V60 and get brewing !!
Love or Hate…
(Enter) Another marmite coffee…. Sumatra Wahana Rasuna…Cup Profile Bakewell Tart… Natural Process… Natural Process coffees tends to divide people, I think this is because the process creates a fruity bold complex cup profile, and quite often people don’t expect that. They’re looking for, or are used to, washed coffee Cup Profile which is cleaner and more acidic. If you’ve tried a Natural Process coffee you’ll know what I mean, if not it’s not too late to pop online and order some now ! However equally you get your natural fanatics those people who queue eager to discover the next Natural we have in store !! Sumatra Wahana Rasuna just arriving… Look at that queue haha !!
The Cup Profile of a coffee is hugely due to how it’s processed from coffee cherry to green bean ! The Natural is also known as the Dry Process because scarcely any water is involve, commonly used in countries where is little rainfall and there are extended periods of sunshine. Too much sun and the coffee becomes brittle and whilst hulling the beans will break… Too much moisture and fungi and bacteria will strike resulting in deterioration. So no pressure on the farmers !! Natural Coffees have to be carefully manged… Sumatra Wahana Rasuna is a beautiful Natural Process Coffee grown in Northern Sumatra 100% from the Wahana farm making it more exclusive, single varietal and under their control throughout the whole process. The Rasuna varietal is grown on the farm as a ‘control’, and used to measure how other coffees compare to it
The Process… After Harvest…
- Drying… The ripe cherries are spread out in sun on trestles or large concrete/brick patios. The cherries are raked or turned by hand to prevent mildew and ensure even drying. Depending on weather conditions it can take up to 4 weeks for the cherries to reach optimum moisture content. Once the coffee is dried the dried fruit and outer husk of skin is mechanically removed.
- Storing… The beans store in silos in bulk ready to be sent to the Mill. Resting Period…traditionally 30-60 days to improve bean aging.
- Mill… Hulled / Graded / Bagged – The hulling machine removes the outer layer of dried coffee, the protective parchment. The green beans are then graded and bagged ready to be sold.
As the coffee cherries are high in pectin it really imparts on the bean and in the roastery as a green bean it has such a distinctive aroma
Love or Hate… Personally we have found the Naturals really interesting coffees to roast, and as a Barista they have to rank as one of my favourites !
Till next time …….