When you sip on your morning cuppa, you probably have other things on your mind than how the coffee was made—all the way from tree to cup. (It’s hard enough to brew a perfect cup of coffee!) But it’s not quite as simple as picking, drying and roasting. Turns out there are a few major methods of coffee processing, including washed, natural dry and honey, and they can make some majorly different-tasting coffees.
Did you know that the Taste of Home Test Kitchen hand-selected the coffee for our brand? Try the beans at home!
What Is Honey Process Coffee?
Honey process is a method in which coffee cherries are picked and sorted, have their skins and pulps removed like other types of coffee—but are then dried without washing off the sticky-sweet outer layer of the fruit. Since honey process beans spend less time in water than washed beans do, less fermentation occurs, so not as much of the sugar in the bean is converted to acid.
The process originated in Costa Rica, a nation known for its eco-friendly focus, and uses less water than “natural” or “washed” process coffees. That’s a win!
Nope, there’s no actual honey on these beans, despite their name and sticky appearance.
What Does Honey Process Coffee Taste Like?
Coffee drinkers have noted that the flavor profile of honey process coffee includes notes of chocolate, brown sugar, spice and cedarwood.
It has also been described as if you or your barista added honey and brown sugar to your cup of coffee—even though the name itself derives from the stickiness of the beans during processing. This style of coffee is fruity and complex with a low acidity and intense sweetness.
You’re probably curious… What’s the best time of day to enjoy your joe? Get the inside brew from the experts.
Where Can I Find It?
Though it’s the rarest of beans, there are several coffee brands that sell honey process coffee for you to brew at home. Here are some that we recommend:
- Hala Tree makes a delicious dark roast that tastes like chocolate.
- Pure Coffee Club is a coffee subscription service that delivers fresh beans straight to your door.
- Red Rooster offers tons of varieties, including Costa Rica Black Honey with notes of brown sugar and cherry pie.
What Foods Pair Well With Honey Coffee?
In case your honey coffee isn’t enough of a treat, here are some homemade coffee creamers to stir in, too.