We have a few coffees released from Costa Rica in the next few months, and thought we would explain a bit about the processing of these coffees, as processing in Costa Rica is very unique.
In the past, most small coffee producers will deliver their coffee to a large mill that will process the coffee for them and in some cases even sell it as a generic Costa Rica blend.
The micro mill revolution that happened in the early 2000s meant that the producer took back control of where their coffee would be sold.
These micro mills made processing accessible, and also allowed the coffee producer to take control of how the coffee was processed. The honey processes were born out of this control. The colour of the honey is an indication of how much of the mucilage around the coffee seed has been removed during the depulping stage, white being the most mucilage removed, and black being the most left. This simple process can change the way the coffee tastes, and through cupping evaluation and help from micro mill exporters it has allowed the power into the coffee producers' hands.
This has led to a wide and diverse range of coffees from Costa Rica that suit the coffee, whilst retaining the provenance and story behind the coffee.
Picture of Honey Processing at Sumava, Costa Rica, taken by Christian Gustavsson for the book Manifest För Bättre Kaffe.