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Honey Process

Baja Beans Mexican Specialty Coffee 

As you may know, there are several ways of processing coffee. In this post we are going to highlight the process that Baja Beans Coffee is made.

Baja Beans coffee is Organic, Fair Trade, Shade Grown and Single Origin from the Veracruz mountainous region of Mexico. A large part of what makes Baja Beans Coffee rival the worlds best is the processing used by our famers who skillfully manipulate variables to create magical coffee.

The Honey Technique is a limited, hands-on, and labor-intensive process.

Coffee processing is the conversion of the raw fruit, the cherry, of the coffee plant into the finished coffee bean. The cherry has the pulp removed leaving the bean ready to be dried. The processing method that is used varies and can have a significant effect on the flavor of your cup of coffee.

Our Coffee Berries are hand picked.

There are 3 main ways to process a coffee bean from the cherry to a green bean that is ready to be roasted:

  • Washed
  • Natural
  • Honey

The Honey (semi-washed/Pulped) Process

Baja Beans Coffee’s Honey Process is a limited, hands-on, and labor-intensive process. It is named after the sticky, honey like consistency of the sugary mucilage and not flavor.

First, the coffee fruit (or cherry) is harvested; the skin and flesh are removed and separated using a machine called a pulper. What remains is a bean covered in a thin, sweet layer of sugary pulp (mucilage).

The Pulping Machine removes the outer skin of the berry.

In the Honey Process, skin and flesh are removed from the coffee cherry, but some or all of the mucilage (Honey) remains. Unlike the mass produced Wet-Washed Process, the mucilage is left to dry on the parchment layer.

Honey Process (named for the sticky, honey like consistency and not flavor)

Because the beans dry while still in the mucilage layer, the Honey Process coffee develops a unique aroma and flavor. Honey coffees often have a syrupy body with enhanced sweetness, round acidity and earthy undertones. This is where the magic happens!

There are numerous subtleties in this technique that dramatically affect the cup.

A well-done honey process requires observation and mastery because the mucilage layer plays a crucial role in creating cup character.

Our coffee is dried on large raised tables where the coffee is turned by hand.

The tricky part is in the drying process. Special care has to be taken so the coffee dries quickly enough to prevent fermentation and stave off fungal or bacterial growth but not too quickly. The weather needs to be just right.

Our coffee is dried on large raised tables where the coffee is turned by hand. Drying coffee this way has the advantage of allowing air to circulate better around the beans promoting more even drying but increases cost and labor significantly. It was made very clear that the berries never touch the ground, as sometimes happens with other methods for processing coffee.

Once dried to the proper moisture, the coffee, with parchment and dried mucilage still attached, is set to rest and then finally dry milled just like a washed coffee before moving to the roaster.

We take pride in finding the best Mexican coffee, “The magic is in the bean!”

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