Our philosophy is that coffee processing starts with the perfect balance of terroir, varieties, and techniques. We are combining years of tradition with a scientific approach to cherry ripeness level. In addition to chewing and squeezing the cherries in the mouth – like the coffee ancients used to do – growers are measuring the Brix (°Bx) utilizing a refractometer in the cherries, so they know the perfect time to pick the cherries at the highest level of ripeness.
The mucilage is extremely sweet and sticky, like honey. And while the name hasn’t come from the taste, these coffees are known for their sweet flavor.
This process maintains some of the desirable characteristics of a complete Natural coffee (syrupy body, sweet taste with less acidity, and chocolate notes), and accelerates the drying process, reducing some of the risks of spoilage, mold, and other defects that can occur with the coffee cherry.
In many cases, producers remove different amounts of mucilage to manipulate the final coffee profile or moderate the drying process and achieve different levels of honey, assigning different terms to match the results. The three most common levels of honey are red, yellow, and black. Traditional and yellow kinds of honey have less mucilage after washing. Red and black honey, on the other hand, have much more mucilage left over. To achieve a black honey process, the cherries must be dried under shade after
being pulped. It will turn the mucilage darker and black and this leads to a heavy body coffee.