In this method, coffee cherries are depulped to remove the outer fruit layer, followed by fermentation to break down remaining mucilage. The beans are then thoroughly washed and dried. This process yields a clean and vibrant cup with bright acidity, highlighting the intrinsic qualities of the coffee beans.
In natural processing, ripe cherries are dried with their outer skin intact. As they dry, sugars from the fruit seep into the beans, imparting a rich and fruity flavor. This method often produces a heavy body and a unique, sweet complexity.
Honey (Pulped Natural) Processing
Cherries are depulped to remove skin but some mucilage is intentionally left on the beans. They are then dried, creating a spectrum from "white honey" (least mucilage) to "black honey" (most mucilage). This process can result in a balance between the clean profile of washed coffee and the sweetness of natural coffee.
Coffee producers are continuously exploring new methods, such as anaerobic fermentation, extended fermentation, and hybrid processes. These experimental techniques push the boundaries of flavor development, resulting in diverse and sometimes unconventional taste profiles.
Each processing method contributes distinct flavors and characteristics to the final coffee, offering a wide range of sensory experiences for enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike.
Vamay Coffee is the result of a Costa Rican family business from Santa María de Dota, a rural area known internationally for the high quality of its coffee. The business began in March 2020, in the middle of the COVID crisis, and is led by Doña Mayra who, along with her son and two daughters, focuses on producing high-quality coffee and offering an unforgettable experience to every consumer. By working to create added value for their coffee, they aim to find better and more equitable opportunities in national and international coffee markets.
Vamay Coffee is a micro-business committed to social and environmental wellbeing, and the family strongly believes that the production and processing of any food or drink should be sustainable. The coffee itself is grown in Alto el Vapor Farm, 90% of which is protected land. It also boasts springs that even supply the water for part of the Santa María de Dota community. The family behind Vamay Coffee is committed to protecting these unique features. The coffee plants are located between 1,800 and 2,100 metres above sea level, as a result of which Vamay Coffee is a high-altitude coffee. These factors, among others, such as the traceability offered, allow Vamay Coffee to guarantee excellence, dedication and love in every bean of their harvest.
Given that the family lives in a rural area, they are dedicated to integrating sustainable development practices at Alto el Vapor Farm: although their main objective is to produce specialty coffee, they also grow other foods between the coffee plants, including citrus fruits, banana, root vegetables, and green vegetables. In this way, Vamay Coffee avoids monocropping and works in a circular economy.
Care Partnership with Bean Voyage
There is a gender gap in access to agronomic and economic resources that leads women to yield lower productive farms, revenues from crop sales, and household welfare. To achieve greater equity in the coffee we need to invest and purchase coffees from smallholder women-coffee producers.
The Care Partnership celebrates the hard work and fresh coffees produced by smallholder women coffee producers.
Bean Voyage provides a bundle of services consisting of training, finance, mentorship, and market access to improve business outcomes for smallholder women coffee farmers and their families over a three-year period.
Today, an average Bean Voyage farmer earns 212% more in annual coffee sales revenue than the market prices and our program has reached over 2,400 community members in all eight coffee producing regions of Costa Rica.
Bean Voyage works with trading partners to ensure higher prices and long term relationships with buyers (like James Coffee).