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.
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: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.
Sold out. More stock expected soon
About the bean
We're welcoming a new coffee to our selection. The Brazil Natural comes to us from a very large farm in the Cerrado region of the world's most famous coffee-producing country, and, as its name makes clear: this bean was dried naturally. The natural method of drying coffee is an ancient practice that involves leaving harvested beans to dry under the sun. Simple!
This process has been likened to red wine by some connoisseurs with a renewed interest in the natural method. Like red wine, more of the skin and the fruit is absorbed. Because the seed of the coffee cherry is imbued with more of the coffee fruit's sugars and nutrients, the final result can be flavour magic. You will sometimes hear the term "wild in the cup" associated with naturally processed coffees. This method provides more in the way of flavour brilliance as well as flavour quirks. Its inconsistencies is one of the reasons why the wet method of washing the coffee seed off the fruit became the preferred process of the two. But never discount the merits of risk, coffee lovers. And this pick pays off.
A sweet softie with a thick body. Our favourite Brazilian bean in stock right now alongside the Brazil Planalto.
Grown at a low altitude of only 800m on a large farm and harvested mechanically. These indicators do not suggest the favourable outcome a bean cultivated at a higher elevation on a smaller farm with hand pickers does but this natural Brazilian is a total pleaser. In a country without the growing altitudes of more elevated coffee-producing regions, the natural process can accomplish more fruitiness, more flavour, more complexity.
Our taste test: Brewed in a French press at a City roast profile, we enjoyed a soft, velvety body reminiscent of white chocolate, a medium brightness (acidity), with a caramel underlay and some fruity flair. A pour over brew enhances these fruit notes. A most enjoyable, sweet aftertaste which is typical of the natural drying process.
For those of us who prefer a darker roast, the Brazil Natural brewed in a French press at a Vienna roast profile made a memorable impression. The deeper richness did not overwhelm or undermine the cup's balance. Great espresso potential here.
Roast Recommendation: To preference.
About the bean
We have our favourites, too!
Ah, Brazil. There's an awful lot of coffee in Brazil ... But we keep going back to this one because it's our favourite from this coffee producing powerhouse.
Our Brazil Planalto is sourced from the family-run Planalto Estate in the highlands of Nova Rezende, in the south of Mina Gerais - the country's main producer of milk and coffee. The farm's 3,600-foot altitude and surrounding natural forest create a unique microclimate, perfect for growing high-quality coffee.
The Taste Test
Hario V60 drip brew - American Roast
Very aromatic during the brewing process. This is a particularly well-balanced coffee with some jazz to it - yellow fruits and a medium-high brightness. This bean is one we enjoy because it offers more than the typical bean from Brazil, although it does offer nutty notes and good body as you might expect from a Brazilian coffee; the Planalto brings some extra special.
French Press - Full City Roast
Notes of chocolate and nut emerged at this roast profile. A Full City cup proffered a sweet and pleasant coffee; most enjoyable.
The Brazilian Planalto is a great pick for espresso, drip brews and, if it were summer, cold brews.
Species: Arabica, single origin
Cultivar: Yellow Catuai / Mundo Novo
Altitude: 1,200 m
Flavour: Citrus, slight berry; rich and caramelized.
Certifications: Humaniterra Foundation, UTZ Certified, Aliment préparé au Québec
Roasting recommendation: Nice light; medium to dark is also just right.
Beyond the cup
The Planalto Estate covers 350 acres of strictly preserved native forest and vegetation. Liquid wastes from coffee processing are recycled and treated. Coffee pulp is reused for its nutritional value.
Estate employees enjoy a full range of benefits, as well as salaries above the regional average. Worker safety is a priority.
About the bean
Strictly Soft (SS) | Fine Cup (FC)
The Swiss Water Process begins with pure water and ends with amazing coffee that is 99.9% caffeine free.
Brazilian beans with a 17/18 screen size tend to be a more consistent, higher quality offering without the pungent floral notes associated with smaller, less mature beans.
Fine Cup (FC) beans are a specialty grade coffee. Strictly Soft (SS) beans are grown at relatively low altitudes (under 4,000 ft).
Medium body, chocolate and nut notes. Good for both drip and espresso.View full product details
Sold out. More stock expected soon
About the bean
It's finally been warm enough to add some ice to our favourite beverage and this pick is perfect for both hot and chill preparation. Our current batch of Cerrado is a blend from four farms in Brazil's Minas Cerais state - the biggest producer of this coffee powerhouse nation. The price is great on this one and it's a damn fine representative of Brazil's charms: body, balance, sweetness and those nice nutty notes we look for from this region. Check out the Japanese Iced Coffee recipe we used to sample the Cerrado below.
Great price, versatile and tasty - a Brazilian favourite.
Region: Cerrado Mineiro (Minas Gerais state)
Altitude: 800- 1,300 masl.
Full City roast brewed in a Hario V60 pour over (served as Japanese Iced Coffee)
For the Japanese Iced Coffee, we used the same ratio as we would for a regular V60 pour over brew: 30g of coffee to 500ml of water. But instead of using all of that water, we used half for brewing (250ml) and the other half (250ml) to make ice cubes. Adjust the ratio of coffee to water to suit preference but be sure to replace half of the water with the same in ice cubes - the ice cubes lock in flavour and dilute what could be a too-strong cup. The genius of this method: there's no need to refrigerate. You will, however, need a manual pour over for the job. Our go-to brewers are: Chemex and the Hario V60 dripper. Help yourself to the recipe we followed here.
Feel free to add extras. We recommend popping in peppermint, just mint, orange or lemon peel, a sprig of rosemary - whatever you fancy. By itself, the iced coffee is potent, sweet and pleasantly permeated with notes of dark chocolate and dried plums. We're looking forward to a summer of Japanese Iced Coffee.
American roast brewed in a French press
Nice balance, good body, medium brightness and a sweet caramel deliciousness followed in the aftertaste.
Roast recommendation: City to Full City (soft bean, will roast quickly). For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.