I'm about to order some coffee from Square Mile (UK), and the coffee I've chosen says that this specific coffee had used the 'Honey Process'. 


Could someone please explain the process? I haven't heard of it before. 

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Dried with part of the pulp still on the bean aka pulp natural aka Miel.
Super tasty.
Ah great! Thanks, one more question. I've heard of the Natural Ethyl Acetate decaffeination method from my favorite coffee bar. What exactly happens with the process. Isn't a sort of sugar wash used? Resulting in a much sweeter coffee. 

Mike McGinness said:
Dried with part of the pulp still on the bean aka pulp natural aka Miel.

John, hi!  Honey coffee is a process where some of the mucilage that covers the bean is left in it by less washing.  When it is well done the process generates an amazing, sweeter taste that intensifies the chocolate nutty aroma/taste of our Dota/Tarrazu.  The mucilage that covers the bean is packed with sugars and that is what generates the different taste.


During the drying, specially if you do it under the sun like us, the parchment will take on a slight orange color.  The perfect stage of the harvest to do the honey coffee is the center of the harvest, where the coffee cherry is naturally packed with more sugars, it oozes the honey.


Like any process, leaving the honey on can spoil the taste of coffee. in traditional milling, the coffee beans have the mucilage taken off by a process of fermentation, usually about 10 hours. this process makes or breaks the quality bec can excessively ferment.  In my process, we wash the mucilage off the bean with a centrifuge, as part of the milling.  So we only need to set up the amount of water on  the washer and voila, an amazing coffee taste comes out.


i have a friend who refused to try my honey coffee bec he had had a bad experience.  Usually, when honey coffee is done, they just left all of the mucilage in it and it creates a very intense flavor, and as i said, the chance of fermentation affecting the flavor is huge.


Needless to say, i sell the honey coffee as a super premium, about $41 per kilo, compared to my $28 a kilo for the regular wash.

a bit confused here, what is the difference in Honey Process and Semi washed? aren't this to the same?

Yes, they are.

the are same, or different?

Matias Zeledon said:

Yes, they are.

The same

Honey refers to a specific process (I believe it originated in Costa Rica, and is now gaining popularity in Central America), while semi-washed refers to a range of processes.  Combine that with cultural practice, and it's hard to tell exactly what any process name refers to.  In Indonesia, "semi-washed" usually refers to a wet-hulled coffee (skin is peeled, coffee with wet mucilage is transported without drying to a mill that completes the process, which unfortunately increases likelihood of defects).

In Brazil, "natural" can mean a whole range of things, and can be frustrating to figure out (Natural harvesting method?  Natural growing techniques?  Natural process?).  Since there aren't any international standards concerning the names of some of these processes, we just have to trust that it means roughly what we understand it to mean.

As far as I know, "washed" means roughly the same thing from country to country, though exactly which washing methodologies were employed - i.e. the difference between washing in Costa Rica and Kenya is significant, but we lump them together under the "washed" banner.

Sorry to break us into further uncertainty, but so goes the world of humans and agriculture...

Will, hi!  I guess the honey coffee is a product that will go the way of the French press, where the french don't accept its paternity and call it something else.

As far as i knew, the Honey coffee was initiated in Africa, mainly for the lack of access to proper facilities for milling.  The wash is the process that strips the bean of the mucilage, therefore generating a cleaner, crisp cup.  It also avoids the pitfalls of fermentation, the step in the process that "makes or breaks the quality" in the cup.

Did not know that we Costa Ricans were credited with it, i hope that is the case because it is my super premium and within the good quality I sell, allows me to create a differentiated product. 

But around the world the range is enormous.  I have tasted "honey" coffee that is simply a hot cup of a fermented beverage and tasted some others were the "honey" is just a sweet touch in the bouquet of the coffee.  Some of the awful honey that i have tasted was dried with the peel on!

Will, hopefully the uncertainty will make a patient, meticulous researcher to get going and make this a subject of a study.

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