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Updated: Apr 12, 2023

Honey processing is a method of adding honey to the coffee processing to create a sweet flavor like honey. That's what Ro - myself thought when I heard about the honey processing method.

And many people had the same idea as me, but the truth is not that simple. So let me take you on a tour to help you understand more about this "sweet" processing method!

Honey processing involves coating coffee beans with layers of sticky sugar. Is this really honey? Source:


How was the honey processing named in specialty coffee?

The honey process is named after the initial development in Costa Rica in the early 2000s. There, coffee producers used this method to create a special coffee with a rich flavor and light sweetness.



And the name "honey" can also be linked to Spainish, the language in which coffee was first introduced to Europe. "Miel" in Spanish means "honey".

Therefore, the name "honey" may originate from Spain and then the honey processing method has become popular and widely used around the world.

The difference in processing honey compared to wash and natural processing

The honey processing method aims for a balance of strong and sweet flavors, a combination of wash and natural processing methods.

Honey coffee processing

This processing aims to bold, strong and energetic coffee flavor, so it is perfect to use the honey processing method in processing robusta coffee to enhance its bold and sweet flavor.

And with any processing method, robusta coffee cherries are carefully selected as ripe red coffee beans and undergoes a selection process to ensure the best quality input for processing methods.

Common coffee processing methods. Source:

With honey coffee processing, the processor will remove the fruit skin and leave only the fruit pulp. So when the coffee fruit is taken for drying, it will be covered with a layer of fruit pulp. You can imagine the fruit pulp of the coffee bean as honey, as both are very sweet.

During the drying process, the fruit pulp of coffee cherries will dry out, creating a layer that looks like the color of honey. This layer protects the coffee beans from losing water too quickly during the drying process, helping to maintain the moisture and flavor of the coffee. It also creates a unique and distinctive sweet taste for the honey processing method.

Therefore, honey processing helps create a unique and popular type of coffee that is loved by those who enjoy sweet and balanced flavors.

Why are there many colors in the honey processing method?

The difference in color comes from the degree to which the coffee cherries' skin and pulp are removed during processing. The color of the processed coffee can affect the flavor and intensity of the coffee.

Source: Internet

  • Processing black honey: This often occurs when the fruit flesh layer is kept 100% intact on the coffee bean. The resulting coffee will have a strong, rich, and full flavor, with typical notes of chocolate and caramel.

  • Processing red honey: This is created when the fruit flesh layer is removed by less than 50%, resulting in a milder and smoother flavor than black honey. The taste is characterized by notes of caramel, brown sugar, and a slight acidity.

  • Processing yellow honey: When 50-75% of the fruit flesh layer is removed, the resulting coffee will have sweet and caramel notes with a subtle acidity.

  • Processing white honey: When 80-90% of the fruit flesh layer is removed from the coffee bean, the coffee will have a bright, refreshing, and high acidity flavor.

Note that the flavor descriptions are general and may vary depending on factors such as the coffee variety, soil conditions, degree of ripeness, and roasting method.

Therefore, the honey processing method is not simply adding honey to the coffee processing. Instead, it is a combination of wash and natural processing methods to create a unique and balanced flavor between the strong and sweet notes.

Ro hopes that this article has helped you understand more about the honey processing method and how it affects the flavor of coffee. If you are a coffee enthusiast, let's try and enjoy the unique and sweet taste of Ro coffee with honey processing!

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