Honey processing

Honey processing


‘Honey’ processing is a form of semi-washed process that is common across Costa Rica. Different designations of white, yellow, red and black honey are commonly used among Central and South American farmers and commonly refer to differences in:

the amount of mucilage left on the bean after pulping;
how the beans are dried (i.e. direct sunlight or shaded conditions);
the length of time and conditions under which the beans are dried.
Loosely, the following guidelines are followed when categorising a honey:

White Honey:
80-90% of the mucilage is removed
Beans are dried on raised beds in direct sun
Beans dry quickly in the intense heat and the parchment becomes white in colour

Yellow Honey:
50% of the mucilage is removed
Beans are dried in conditions of low wind and medium sunlight
Beans are raked 3 to 4 times a day and dry for up to a week

Red Honey:
80-90% of the mucilage remains on the bean
Beans are dried on raised beds in overcast or shaded conditions
Beans are raked on the first morning and then only once or twice in the afternoon

Black Honey:
Mucilage is left as close to intact as possible
Beans are dried on raised bed in fully shaded conditions
Beans are not moved at all on the first day and are then raked once a day; drying time can take up to three weeks

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