Costa Rica, Red Honey

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Costa Rica, Red Honey


CoopeDota, the world’s first certified carbon-neutral coffee exporter, is much 

more than just a coffee operation with a great certification. Recently retired 

Director Roberto Mata built up an amazing industry integrating social services 

and environmental protections while producing some of the highest quality 

coffee available in Costa Rica. 

CoopeDota provides members with access to wet and dry milling services, yet 

the outreach extends far beyond processing: coffee by-products are used to 

fuel the mechanical drying guardiolas and water use during processing is 

reduced by using eco-pulpers. The cooperative manages trash pickup in the 

city of Santa Maria de Dota, and has been able to repurpose waste into 

renewable forms of energy. CoopeDota’s farms stretch deep into the Tarrazu 

region and while they produce a significant volume, they also are deeply 

invested in highlighting exceptional microlots. 

This regional blend has undergone “Honey” processing, a hybrid processing 

method that strips the skin and fruit away but leaves the sticky mucilage 

surrounding the coffee in tact. After pulping, unlike with washed coffees, the 

mucilage-covered parchment is sent straight to the drying tables, skipping the 

fermentation tank and channel grading steps. This particular lot is a “red” 

honey, meaning a fair amount of fruit was left on the seed – not as much as if 

it were a “black” honey, but more than a “yellow” or “white” iteration. 

Honey processing is the rose, any other name by which would smell as 

sweet… frequently referred to elsewhere in the world as semi-washed or 

pulped natural. So far as I can determine, it is Brazilian processing equipment 

manufacturer Pinhalense who stake the claim to creating the world’s first 

cereja descascado (literally “deskinned cherry”) in 1991 as a value-add 

alternative to the country’s traditionally dry-processed coffee. The pulped 

natural was a handy way to sell the local market a bunch of new equipment 

while offering an environmentally friendly answer to demands for washed 

coffees in dry regions. 

Taste Notes: Berry, Dark Chocolate, Purple Grape

Grower: Cooperativa de Caficultores de Dota R.L. (CoopeDota) 

Region: Dota, San José, Costa Rica 

Altitude: 1550-1950 meters

Process: Eco-pulped, Red Honey

Varietal: Catuai, Caturra 

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