Dry Honey

Dry-honey process is a middle ground between the natural and wet processing methods. Contrary to how it sounds, the honey process has no honey involved at all. What is unique about this process is the way the beans are dried: instead of having its mucilage removed before the drying step, honey-process allows beans to sit in their mucilage as they are dried. To have a clearer understanding, let’s have an overview of this process:

Firstly, ripped cherries are harvested and submerged into water to remove impurities and immature fruits as well as ensuring consistent ripe levels across the fruits. The cherries then run through the depulpers - machines that squeeze the cherries, to extract the beans from the rest of its body. 

However, instead of fully depulping like during the wash-process, there will be some leftover cherries’ flesh on the beans. There will also be a golden, sticky, honey-like layer of mucilage that remains on the beans. For this reason, this process is therefore called “honey-process”. 

After depulping, the cherries are sent to dry on the patios or raised beds without washing. Since there is less flesh surrounding the beans, there is a lower risk of over-fermentation in comparison to natural-process. While the overall sweetness and body of the beans can still increase due to the mucilage layer which contains high amounts of sugar and acids. There is also less fermentation occurring since the honey-process beans do not spend much time in water like washed-process beans.

Finally, the beans will then be hulled and prepared to ship. Honey process beans possess great sweetness and balanced acidity with fruity undertones.

Dry Honey
Pick Ripe Cherries
In the picking stage, the level of ripeness and elevation of fresh fruits (cherries) are critical. Red and purple-red cherries produce the best flavours, while under-ripe (green) and over-ripe cherries produce astringent tastes which deteriorate the overall cup-quality. Often, red-cherries grown at higher altitudes are highly demanded as it produces better flavours due to better maturity and higher sugar content.
Submerge in Water
Submerging is a process of removing impurities from the harvest. Through the fluidity and gravity of water, the immature fruits, floaters, withered beans, sticks and leaves are removed. When the fresh cherries are submerged in water, the pulp which carries microorganisms will hasten the fermentation process.
After Cherries are harvested, they have to be depulped within 24 hours or else the cherries may produce an overly fruity or rotten flavour that can ruin the coffee’s cup-quality. Depulping is the process of separating the coffee seeds from the outer layer of flesh from the fruit and it usually happens at the farm or a centralized depulping station.
During fermentation, microorganisms in mucilage will react with sugar to degrade, leading to fermentation. This is an essential stage of coffee processing as this is when microorganisms interact with enzymes and amazing flavours are developed. The coffee fragrance changes from fresh fruits to berry-like, transforming into tropical fruits and rich red wine - the ideal state of natural fermentation.
Drying is a phase where the quality of the green bean and developed coffee flavours are preserved. Typically, drying takes about 23 days and during this period the water content in the coffee beans are reduced to the appropriate range at around 10-12%. Usually, drying is done with a suitable temperature through using convective hot air