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Back again with something new and exciting: Cafe Rica - Black Honey

Since we started our operations at the cargo unit a few years ago it has been a goal of ours to someday roast our own coffee.  We always knew that this would be far off in the distance and was a future goal.  We had already been getting coffee roasted for us by our friend Lee Winkler, who owns Little Quiet Coffee co, and they had been big hits.  The one origin we had shied away from was Costa Rica, where we get a majority of our coffee from already. 


We get GREAT coffee from Cafe Naranjo in Costa Rica and we love it and so do our customers, online and in the shop.  We were hesitant to pick up a different Costa Rican coffee because we kind of felt that we already had the best coffee Costa Rica offers and that we didn’t want to essentially compete with ourselves with a new variety unless there was something that we could find that Cafe Naranjo didn’t offer, in comes Black Honey.


Over the last few years we had drank many different varieties of Costa Rican coffee and struggled to find one that was as good or better than the Naranjo varieties that we currently were offering.  This all changed when we bought our father some Costa Rican Honey processed coffee from Waterstreet Coffee Roasters over in Kalamazoo Michigan.  This was a smooth, rich, and sweet flavor that we had only ever tasted in African varietals from Ethiopia or Burundi.  We were hooked, this was something that some day, we wanted to either roast ourselves or have someone roast for us. 


Lee has been roasting us Ethiopian coffee for a little over a year now, our pour over customers love it and it has now reached cult like following status it seems.  We liked it so much that we developed summertime cold brew mixing the Ethiopian and a Guatemalan that Lee also roasts for us, we call it Paradise.  After this experiment worked out well, we asked Lee if he had access to any Honey processed Costa Rican coffee, he said yes and we. Bought a bag of it.  A little over a week later Lee brought us our first bag of what we call Black Honey. 


So what exactly is honey processed coffee? Honey processed coffee is when the producer takes off the cherry fruit from the bean but does not remove the sticky membrane of the fruit.  This leaves behind a semi sweet flavor that imparts itself on the coffee bean.  But why is it called black honey?  The farm we sourced the coffee from has three different ways it processes honey coffee. Yellow Honey: Coffee is turned hourly on raised beds for a few days, then transferred to a greenhouse and turned regularly. Red Honey: Coffee is turned several times a day and dried for longer in the greenhouse. And finally Black Honey: Coffee is turned once a day.


We are beyond excited with the initial response that we have gotten from the new coffee,  Lee our roaster is also excited as this is the first time he has ever done anything like this.  Most of all we are excited that people are drinking and enjoying good quality coffee.  We hope you all have a great day and be well!