Customer Reviews

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Unroasted - Costa Rican Fair Trade Organic - Honey Processed


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About the bean

We've become awfully fond of honey-processed coffee. A process championed by Costa Rica after an earthquake in the seismically active region caused a severe water shortage. The honey method of processing coffee beans uses less water than that of washed coffees - some of the sticky (honey-like) mucilage beneath the peel of the coffee cherry remains during the drying process instead of being washed off. This effects the level of sweetness in the cup. Exposure to light during the drying period also impacts the end result, with some honeyed coffees exposed to more and some less, which led Costa Rican farmers to create a spectrum of colour to indicate the level of exposure: yellow honey beans enjoy their time in the sun the most, red honey somewhat less and black honey beans the least (the latter requires more labour to tend to during its drying period of typically 1-2 weeks).

Of these types of honeys, we have yet to try the black honey variety (considered the most rich and complex). What we have tried (yellow and red), we have loved. The cup is sweet but typically well-balanced and clean with lovely flavour notes. It's a different coffee experience and one we look forward to with every new batch of honey coffee we receive.

The best of Costa Rica with a golden twist.

Taste Test

These honey-processed beans are the yellow honey variety (the most exposed to light).

American roast profile / Cupping

We cupped our Costa Rican FTO honey-processed beans to explore the depth of the coffee. We noted a sweet, slightly floral fragrance. The cup was lightly bright, infused with notes of honey cane sugar and a pronounced nut taste (hazelnut and creamy cashew). Overall, a soft-bodied, smooth cup, very well-balanced with a lingering aftertaste of nut and dark chocolate. 

American roast profile / Hario V60 pour over brew

The fragrance was a yellow fruit (apricot, peach) and honeysuckle/jasmine delight. Other notes in the underlay rounded out the cup (milk chocolate, nut and even black tea). At this profile, we savoured a most wonderful cup that was nicely bright with a pleasant tea-like body and a hazelnut aftertaste. Could it get any better?

City roast profile / French press brew

It got better! We sat a long time here enjoying a more subdued acidity and a pronounced sweetness (succulent pear). Again, the nutty notes emerged further amplified. No bitterness, a light-medium body, well balanced. As the coffee cooled, the nut flavour claimed the cup entirely.

This is one gorgeous coffee. It should be enjoyed at a light-medium roast (City is perfect) and skip the additives which almost always bury a coffee's personality. This is a pick to sit with, discover, and sip on all day; completely in sync with the mood of summer. 

For an explanation of our different roasts, see here:

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