Honey processing - what is 'semi dark' honey processing?

Posted by admin in Coffee School

This year we have been fortunate enough to feature two beautiful micro lots from Nicaragua, Lot1945 El Bosque and Lot1850 La Cascada, both processed using the semi-dark honey process method.

Generally, honey processed coffee is when the farmer takes the skin and a little mucilage (the fleshy part of the fruit) off a cherry and lets it naturally ferment and dry in the sun.

With the semi-dark honey processing method, all the mucilage is left on the bean which results in a longer fermentation and drying process. It also results in a dark colour because the sun toasts the mucilage.

Semi-dark honey processing is captured here in the far right image.

Semi-dark honey processing is captured here in the far right image. (file image).

So what does semi-dark honey processing do to the flavour of the coffee?

This processing method usually results in the coffee becoming a little sweeter and fruitier as it takes longer to dry. It loses some of its acidity but gains a bigger body.

This is certainly a tricky processing method to master and can sadly result in disaster if not completed properly. The coffee requires almost 24/7 care as it needs to be turned over regularly so that one side of the bean doesn’t over ferment.