Sweet and Sustainable: Meet Nicaragua’s Black Honey

Sometimes sweet results require strenuous processes, and it’s completely worth it.

Coffee production has always been an integral part of Nicaragua’s economy. As one of the country’s main exports, coffee farmers are constantly finding ways of improving their harvest and differentiating their beans. Which is why sometime around 2008, certain Nicaraguan farmers began “honey” processing their coffee beans--a unique and rare processing technique that allows the coffee fruit’s natural sugars to infuse the very heart of the bean. The result is a sweet and smooth cup, but to get that result is no simple feat.

“Honey” processing coffee beans began in Nicaragua around 2008, and is a rare and difficult processing technique. image

“Honey” processing coffee beans began in Nicaragua around 2008, and is a rare and difficult processing technique.

To say that the “Black Honey” process is challenging would be an understatement. Because farmers dry the beans with most of the coffee fruit still around the bean, contrary to the usual drying process where the fruit is removed, this operation requires constant monitoring and rotation in order to perfect the flavours and prevent defects. Add in the humid climate, which can complicate the level and rate of the drying process, and the fact that each sticky and sweet cherry has a different amount of flesh surrounding the bean, this process can take several weeks to complete correctly. We knew that this method was cumbersome, and in order to scale up the quantity and maintain the highest quality we would need all hands on deck. This is where our Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program found a sweet synergy with the Nicaraguan farmers.

To say that the “Black Honey” process is challenging would be an understatement.
During the “honey” processing, farmers leave the fruit on the bean allowing the natural sugars to infuse the coffee bean. image

During the “honey” processing, farmers leave the fruit on the bean allowing the natural sugars to infuse the coffee bean.

Nicaragua

Sweet & Harmonious

Our AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program has been working in Nicaragua since 2010, creating a network of support systems that empowers local farmers by teaching sustainable agricultural processes, offering strategies to increase productivity, and paying good premiums for the resulting quality coffee. And this is why when we asked our supply partners to scale up the quantity of this rather rare “Black Honey” coffee, we found enough willing farmers who were up for the challenge.

And now this rare cup is ready for you. Experience Master Origin Nicaragua with black honey: proof that sweetness can be sustainable, and should be shared.

Discover the full range of our Master Origin coffees now.