Honey processing is a hybrid of natural and washed, mixing elements from both to create new differentiations in flavour. The fresh coffee is de-pulped, but left to dry without washing. This retains some of the fruit, but not as much as with natural processing, leaving a sticky golden coating of mucilage on the bean.
Depending on how much cherry is left on the bean during de-pulping, we get unique flavours. Honey coffee ranges from white and yellow, to gold, red, and black. The colour refers to how much mucilage is left on - white and yellow will have barely any mucilage left on the bean, whilst gold, red, and black have more mucilage left on, and are then differentiated by how much humidity they require and how long they are dried for. These dark honeys are a lot more work, but the flavours come through spectacularly well in espresso.
This process generally uses less water, in turn making the coffee more environmentally friendly - something all of our growers are actively working towards. Sustainable coffee means they can continue to farm and sell their coffee for a good price, in turn ensuring their workers are paid fairly and get the care and training they need.