Continuing with part 1, we will learn more about preparing this honey.
So why is honey processing so unique?
Although prepping honey is quite elaborate and time-consuming, you should sometimes ask yourself, is it worth it?
The answer is entirely worth the effort.
Preliminary honey processing creates a scent and acidity that balances with the fruity undertones. The taste of this processing style is less odorous than that of traditional processing.
The story brings out the different flavors from the sugar and the acid from the mucus layer. After the drying process, the sugar left on the mucus layer becomes thicker, and it also spills down to cover the coffee beans.
Yellow, red and black honey: key differences?
If you want to buy coffee prepared with honey, you will face various options from yellow, red, or black varieties. What does this mean?
Growers divide the crops according to the type of seed. Some will have less mucilage, which is easier to dry. Others have multiple layers of mucus and require more time to dry. Yellow honey (accounting for 25% of the mucus layer) will usually turn out a natural yellow color when it is finished drying. Red honey (about 50% of the mucilage layer) usually dries longer and produces a glossy honey color. Black honey (about 100% mucus layer) is typically sealed to prolong the drying time.
So which one is better?
You might think that black honey is superior in quality. The flavor of honey processing is often subtle and has a certain depth depending on the residual resin layer. The higher the mucilage, the stronger the flavor.
For a coffee producer, everything is a core business decision. You produce good quality coffee (which means high cost) with the black honey processing method with the effort/risk/price factor will be significantly increased, and it is challenging to choose the way this. The long drying time of coffee also means that it can easily cause fermentation and infection. Coffee pre-processed by this step always needs to be stirred continuously rather than preliminarily processed with golden honey. For coffee, the story is not only about creating the most delicious cup of coffee; it is also about making the most accessible product to advertise for growers.
So what does this preparation mean to you?
Master Roaster: Consistency is the key
With an artisan roaster, you’ll be challenged to create a blend and keep it consistent throughout the year. However, many factors affect the growth of coffee and even the final product. So you shouldn’t buy coffee just because you know it’s made with honey. Whether it will have deliciousness, acidity, and fruity undertones – but that is not entirely certain.
Barista: Coffee knowledge is invaluable.
Day after day, you’ll rely on your coffee machine to create premium, standard cups of coffee for the community. Understanding and being knowledgeable about coffee being grown, processed, harvested, and roasted is a big step in creating a top-notch shot of coffee you’ve never tasted before. Every coffee pull is a different experience. House coffee with intense chocolate and caramel flavor differs from Ethiopian natural coffee with high sweetness and low acidity.
Understanding the source of the difference is valuable knowledge to have, not only for you but also for users. Customers will be more likely to support the shop if you can tell them the difference between the Ethiopian coffee emphasizing sweetness rather than the Sumatra coffee they tried last week. People love the experience and will return if the barista understands his profession.