In the realm of specialty coffee, the processing of coffee beans is a crucial aspect that can significantly influence the final taste and quality of the beverage. One processing method that has captured the attention of coffee enthusiasts is the "Yellow Honey" technique, known for its ability to preserve the delicate and balanced flavors of coffee.

What Does "Yellow Honey" Processing Entail?

The "Yellow Honey" coffee processing is an intermediate method between "washed" and "natural" processes. In this method, coffee beans are dried with some of their fruit pulp intact, leading to controlled fermentation and a higher moisture level compared to the "washed" process. Although the name suggests a yellow color, it can vary depending on the drying degree and coffee variety, including shades of yellow and orange.

Stages of the "Yellow Honey" Process:

Selection and Harvesting of Coffee Beans: The process begins with meticulous selection of ripe and healthy coffee beans. Harvesting is essential to achieving the desired quality in the final cup.

Partial Pulping: After harvesting, the coffee beans are passed through a pulping machine that partially removes the outer pulp of the fruit, leaving a thin layer of pulp adhering to the beans.

Drying of Coffee Beans: The partially pulped beans are then laid out for drying. During this phase, the beans are exposed to sunlight or dried in special machines. The controlled fermentation resulting from retaining a portion of the fruit pulp contributes to the development of complex flavors.

Fermentation and Bean Turning: As the coffee beans dry, they are periodically turned to ensure even drying and to prevent excessive fermentation or mold growth.

Final Processing: Once the coffee beans have reached the optimal drying level, they undergo a final processing stage for packaging and distribution. This stage involves cleaning and sorting the beans to remove impurities.

Why "Yellow Honey" is Special:

Distinct Aromas: The "Yellow Honey" processing has a significant impact on the coffee's flavor profile. This method can highlight subtle, floral, and fruity aromas without overpowering them with fermented notes, as sometimes occurs in the "natural" processed coffee.

Rich and Balanced Taste: Coffee processed through the "Yellow Honey" method is often recognized for its balanced taste and velvety texture. The controlled fermentation process contributes to developing a complexity of flavors without compromising the underlying taste notes.

Sustainability and Efficiency: This processing method can also offer benefits in terms of sustainability and efficiency. By retaining some fruit pulp, water consumption in the washing process can be reduced, and controlled fermentation can lead to a shorter drying period, thus reducing the risk of spoilage.


Processing coffee through the "Yellow Honey" method is an art in itself, requiring knowledge and expertise to achieve superior quality results. While this process may be more labor-intensive and require extra attention compared to other processing methods, the results can offer an unforgettable tasting experience for specialty coffee lovers. By maintaining the delicate balance between aromas and taste, "Yellow Honey" coffee demonstrates once again the complexity and richness of the specialty coffee world.