Pan roasted some honey coffee from Panama this morning.
Anyone know much about this new "honey" processing? It creates quite the sweet and rounded cup thus far, even from last year's crop.

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Comment by Joe Marrocco on December 11, 2009 at 8:19pm
Honeyed coffees, as briefly detailed in the article by George Howell, is coffee that is processed in a hybrid processing method. In most of Latin America the flesh of the cherry is called miel, Spanish for Honey. It is called that because it is sticky and sweet. So,... Basically the coffee goes through a pulping machine that peals the skin off the cherry. Then, instead of the sticky seeds going into a fermentation tank as a washed coffee would, in order for spontaneous fermentation to eat the miel away, it is placed out on the patio, or hopefully a raised drying bed and dried with that little bit of fruit still intact. A Naturally processed coffee is placed in the sun still entirely enveloped in its cherry; meaning the skin is still on it. This causes it to dry much more slowly. Also, with the fruit still being there it is more susceptible to defects setting in: mold, insects, etc... This is a very risky way of processing the coffee and usually leads to a heavy fermentation flavor in the cup, at best. However, when done with extreme attention it can lead to the Beloyas and Arichas that we all love so much. It can bring cups filled with Berry, Fruit, and Floral notes teamed with nice body and tons of complexity. Those qualities are cherished and coveted. Yet, with a washed coffee you get clean crisp edges. It provides an almost Helvetica experience on the palate. Yet, both of these processes came into being for one reason only, to get the seeds out of the cherry and ready for roasting. These processes did not arrive with a flavor experience in mind. However, Pulp-Natural broke this mold. Now we can have a clear and distinct cup with some heavy sweetness, nice body, and lots of fruit. These coffees are especially nice as espresso components. Amazing really, in many cases. Yet another reason to call the coffee honeyed.

In some places like Costa Rica there are de-pulping machines that the processor can dial in almost like we would a grinder. I used a pulp natural coffee from the Don Mayo Micro-Mill and they had left only 10% of the miel on, giving it just a hint of zest. VERY COOL!!! Processing for taste has a long way to go, but is making a lot of headway right now.

Happy Tasting!!

Oh,... and maybe invest in a home roaster,... you would really like the outcome!

Comment by Alun Evans on December 10, 2009 at 7:34pm
On a slightly different note, and not wanting to hijack the thread and all, just reading about Wine Infused coffee in Fresh Cup Magazine...infused with Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Sounds like someone has found a way of combining my two favorites into one.
Comment by Cedric on December 10, 2009 at 7:01pm
Sweet job on roasting beans on a pan!!!! I used to get PT's honeyed coffee Finca larida from panama. I believe they keep some of the fruit on the bean as it gets processed. The flavors of the fruit permeates into the bean giving it a little more of a sweeter, fruity and floral notes. How they actually do it...I don't know. Enjoy it!!!
Comment by comforteagle1965 on December 10, 2009 at 6:37pm
wow thx , sounds awesome. I wanna try some! :)
Comment by Lorenzo Perkins on December 10, 2009 at 10:32am
Rock it with your bad self! Fuckin pans n shit.
Comment by James Liu on December 9, 2009 at 9:09am
Honey coffee is another name for semi-washed or pulped-natural processing. It is a hybrid method between dry/natural processing and washed. George Howell at Terroir coffee has a pretty good explanation:
Comment by comforteagle1965 on December 9, 2009 at 12:26am
Please explain! ???
Comment by Chase on December 8, 2009 at 9:10pm
how fantastic..

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