Honey Processed, Dried on Raised Beds
July - October 2018
Tablón de Goméz
Sweet, clean and fruity, Colombia Sungo Loma is a rare treat. A honey processed coffee, the fruit is removed from the cherry to reveal a sticky coffee seed (hence, ‘honey processed’) and left to dry in the sun for two weeks. The flavor profile of a honey processed coffee sits snugly between the crisp, clean qualities of a washed process coffee, which is dried after fully removing the fruit from the seed, and the intense fruit flavor of a natural processed coffee, where the coffee cherries are dried whole.
Despite their rising popularity in Latin America, it is rare that we release a honey processed coffee. In large part, this is because it is hard to find exceptional ones. To achieve a clean and balanced cup requires skill, study and a bit of courage. By leaving the sweet, sticky substance on the seeds you invite a level of uncertainty. It is this element of the unknown- the risk - that can ruin a honey processed crop, but it can also elevate a coffee and create a wholly unique experience. Ema Ordoñez’s honey processed coffee is just such a coffee, blooming to reveal incredible depth of flavor.
Ema’s small farm, Sungo Loma, is located in Aponte, in the highlands of Tablón de Goméz. The region is home of some of the most delicious Colombian coffees we’ve ever tasted. Here, Ema cultivates the Caturra variety, a favorite of ours known for its distinctly sweet coffee fruit. Sungo Loma’s high altitude only enhances its sweetness; the coffee cherries mature more slowly on the tree, able to concentrate their sugars.
It came as no surprise, then, that in round after round of blind tastings during our Colombia sourcing trip this year, we found ourselves lingering over Ema’s all-Caturra lot. The honey process highlights the fruit’s intense sweetness and complexity, while maintaining an extremely clean cup profile.
This coffee offers the sweet-tart qualities of Rainier cherries and green apple, balanced with intense brown sugar sweetness. Longer brew times draw out an interplay of strawberry and lime-like notes.
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