All about honey coffee processing


In waterless honey processing, not a drop of water is really used. The coffee cherries are peeled after harvesting and the beans are dried with the parchment and especially the pulp on the surface. So-called 'mucilage'. The coffee beans are then spread out on so-called African beds. The African beds are made of bamboo and the coffee is dried on them for 15 to 20 days. During the drying process, however, the beans have to be raked and turned over. Particularly those that have more pulp on them. Coffee that has not been raked sufficiently could start to mould. The beans are covered with a sheet at night to prevent them from getting wet.

The coffee and its final taste vary according to the amount of pulp retained. The amount of pulp can then be seen by the colour of the dried coffee. The coffee tastes slightly different from each variant. All of these methods are popular in Central America.

  • Black Honey: 90-100% - large amount of pulp
  • Red Honey: 90-100%
  • Yellow Honey: 20-50%
  • White Honey: 0-20% - small amount of pulp.


This method is also called pulped - natural. On farms, this method uses less water than the wet method. It is very popular in Brazil. In this method, the coffee cherries go into a water bath, as in the wet method. The cherries then go on to peeling machines where they are stripped of the top skin and pulp. The coffee cherries thus treated are washed once more. This is followed by drying in the sun, as with the dry method.

Any parchment that remains on the coffee bean is removed mechanically. It is removed using a machine that gently slaps the beans to remove the pulp or by using grinding stones.


If you taste coffee that has been processed using the honey method, it will taste of honey and cane sugar. Coffee processed using this method will tend to be sweeter, with little acidity but a strong body.

The sweetness and resulting depth of the coffee depends not only on where the coffee was grown, but also on the amount of pulp left before drying. The more pulp, the sweeter the taste.

Coffee processed using the honey method presents sweeter notes of fruit and can thus present a beautiful complex flavour.