Coffee processing is about the method used to clean and dry the coffee so that it is ready to be exported home to us coffee-drinking Danes. There are three main methods used to process coffee: Natural, Honey and Washed. Here we take a closer look at honey. And no, it’s not coffee with sweet and golden stuff added.
What is honey coffee?
Honey is a type of processing that transforms coffee beans into the type we know and love here at home. A bit like washed coffee, the coffee beans are first hulled, but the inner layer surrounding the bean, called the sugar skin, remains intact. The sugar in the husk breaks down during drying, creating a sticky, honey-like consistency that clumps the coffee beans together. And this is where the name also comes from.
Honey processing offers endless possibilities for new and complex flavour profiles. Compared to a classic natural, honey coffees tend to be sweet and full-bodied, but they also have a clean taste and a pleasant acidity.
As it is with many other processes here in the world of (exquisite) coffee, there are also different variations of honey that tell We look at some of them:
What is yellow honey?
Yellow honey is often half washed, leaving a little more sugar layer around the bean.
What is red honey?
Higher humidity during drying gives the coffee a reddish colour, hence red honey, and a greater sweetness and fruitiness in the cup. Here, none of the coffee’s pulp is washed off.
What is black honey?
Black honey still has a lot of pulp sitting around the bean. The coffee is dried under humid conditions and the dried sugar gives the coffee an almost completely black colour.