How coffee is processed

As you have probably noticed on a few of our coffee selections that we have added the label “honey processed” to the description. This does NOT mean that we slathered it in honey before or after roasting at any time after the first batch when we ruined our roaster, there are still tears flowing. Okay, so I am kidding (probably) about adding honey to the roaster or beans. This is a term used by coffee processors because of the way that the beans are processed differently from normal washed (obviously involving lots of water to clean everything off the beans) or unwashed/semi-wet process which is used for removing the outer layers such as pulp and mucilage from the beans.

Honey processing is unique

In honey processing the pulp is removed usually and mostly and then the mucilage is left in place to varying degrees as chosen by the process from 40%-100%. The amount of mucilage left on the bean before fermentation coupled with the amount of sunlight and length of time in fermentation determine the grade of honey processing with the least amount of mucilage and shortest time for fermentation being allowed leading to a Yellow honey processed.

The next grade is Red honey processing with more mucilage less light and a slightly longer time and finally we have the Black honey process as the most mucilage, least sunlight, and longest time. The Black honey is the most labor intensive and thus more expensive due to the excessive care that must be taken to make sure the bean don’t mold and hit just the right amount of fermentation which is around 3 weeks. The honey processing produces a sweeter, juicier, more full-bodied bean and is quite noticeable when drinking. You can put some honey on the beans before you brew, but I think it would be a bad idea, just let nature do the work.

If you must know more I totally understand. Perfect Daily Grind has a great post that explains more here. They link to a great video by Seattle Coffee Gear that you can visit directly here.