Central American is famous with clean fully washed coffee. Most of the coffee farm is access able to water supply which make it easier to do fully washed process coffee. Beside that fully washed reduce percentage of coffee defect by sorting unripe cherries using flotation tank. This is really helpful by sorting unripe coffee from being further process. Fully washed process also highlight clean and mild acidity of central American coffee which make it main choice for single origin espresso or blend.
But this particular coffee is show an excitement of Guatemala coffee. Pena Blanca is our first honey processed coffee from Guatemala. Compared to fully washed process, honey process is a process coffee will be depuled and leave mucilage intact with coffee bean. It will leave dry on patio or raised bed for 2-3 weeks depend on weather.
Honey process is an interesting method where globally there is no standard to precisely to categorize type of honey process. In some country like Costa Rica, honey process coffee will define by mucilage thickness such as black (75-100%), yellow (50-75%), Red (25-50%) and White (0-25%). Since not all farmer could afford to buy machine that can precisely depulp the coffee, most the farmers rely on coffee looks to name the process. In Pena Blanca case, the coffee covered by thick mucilage and give a black color parchment after completed drying process.
I rarely buy honey process coffee beside Costa Rica coffee. I'm excited to have honey process from Guatemala. If you are familiar with Guatemala coffee, it always known for a clean cup, bright acidity and syrup body. But honey process Pena Blanca is a new experience for me and I enjoy to profile it as espresso coffee. I notice honey process able to tame the wildness and brightness in fully washed coffee. This one come perfectly since i want sweet cup with coating mouth feel. I give up Pena Blance two thumbs up, easy to roast, can handle heat pretty well during roasting and all coffee flavors on point! The sweetness of corn milk is prominent on black or white coffee. The acidity is a bit mild and almost taste like a caramelized pear. Most rewarding part is when the melted butter taste started to pour into my mouth. Taste so urhhhhhh..... I need lemon pound cake for this coffee. Definitely a good pairing with any cakes or desert.
- Helmi -