We have been fortunate in receiving this excellent honey process crop from Peru. For nearly a decade we have been purchasing Cafe Femenino’s Peru, and each year we consistently find improvements in their quality. Although this is technically not a Cafe Femenino crop, the wife, Elianita Oblitas, is a Cafe Femenino producer. Below you will read about what makes the Honey Process so special, the notes we gain from the cup, and a little more information about its producers.
About Honey Process
The basic principle of Honey method lies in picking only perfectly ripe cherries. We achieve this by measuring their sugar content (brix grades) during the ripening period.
At the end of each harvest day, freshly picked cherries are collected, weighed and pulped in manual or electrical pulpers. With their mucilage still fully attached, they are spread on African drying beds. These raised beds are made using locally sourced bamboo, wire mesh and black plastic netting (serán).
Depending on weather conditions, the usual drying cycle takes 10-12 days. At the end of this stage, the water content of the beans should be approx. 11 %.
The true benefit of Honey method is the lack of water used. Not a single drop is wasted for pulping, washing or fermenting. Therefore, comparing to the traditional washed method, there are provable savings of around 2000 l per bag of green beans (60 kg).
Honey method can be easily implemented in remote areas where it eliminates the difficulties with trucking freshly picked cherries to wet mills, usually situated far away from the farm. This often causes problems with unwanted fermentation during the trip and thus potential degradation of quality.
Another important advantage of Honey process is its economical factor. The cost of purchasing a single pulper is incomparable to investing into a fully equipped wet mill. Furthermore, using traditional African drying beds rather than mechanical dryers (guardiolas) saves huge amounts of electricity or fossil fuels. All this makes the Honey method the most environmentally friendly coffee processing technique at present time.
Impact on Cup Profile
The drying of the parchment with all the mucilage still attached has a direct impact on the sweetness of the cup. Honey coffees have generally very unique cup profile, characterized by its distinct sweetness, enhanced fruit notes and sweet acidity on the taste and aftertaste.
The aroma of freshly iced carrot cake wafts from the cup. Notes of Bit-O-Honey candies fill your palate, leading to juicy boysenberry. The acidity is teasingly bright and the body is velvet on the tongue. One’s first thought after the sip is that of a fig on thin toast finish.
Raul Yañis and his wife Elianita Oblitas worked together on this production from Cocochó, Peru at 1,700m elevation. Raul is a veterinarian while Elianita is a Cafe Femenino producer – which is how we found ourselves being offered this amazing crop. They have two daughters, one studying agronomy with a Cup For Education scholarship (Coffee Holding Company non-profit). In ordinance with their organic certification, they use irrigation systems, composting with manure and coffee pulp, and the coffee drying racks are covered with netting as a roof to protect from rain/moisture.
For wholesale questions on this amazing crop, please call or email. Otherwise for the home users, pick up a bag today!