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RED HONEY, Wush Wush, Ethiopia

Designer: Ethiopia

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Tamarind, ruby red grapefruit, brown and red ales, agave nectar, lemonade, dried plum.


Typical processing for sun-dried natural Ethiopian coffee sees cherries entering the washing station atop donkeys or carried by hand. Usually contained in a plastic bag at this stage, the cherries are weighed with a traditional scale (often painted a rich shade of sea green) and the volume entered against the producer’s name in the washing station’s logbook. The smallholder receives their money, which is often used to purchase essentials such as food and school supplies, or to pay for rent on their huts and small sections of land.

Once the cherries are logged, they are usually carried straight to the drying table. But as we at Catalyst Trade prefer and pay premiums for—the first step post-harvesting for our Black Honey coffee is a quick hand sorting for consistency in coloration before being dumped into float tanks so that lower-density cherries can surface and be skimmed off for lower grade coffees or local consumption. The higher-density cherries sink to the bottom, displaying their quality by their weight. Lower density cherries are sent to the drying beds to be processed for lower grade coffees and local consumption.

For the higher density cherries, another hand sorting follows the floating process to give good uniformity for pulping. For our Black, Red and White honey processed coffees, we calibrate the disc pulper to allow for greater control and speed of pulping, which we take very slowly. The primary goal here is to minimize parchment and seed damage while really maximizing the mucilage content.


Following pulping, we ferment the parchment slated for our Red Honey coffees for a very controlled fermentation cycle. Then the mucilage-laden parchment is moved to shaded drying beds, where we keep it slowly drying entirely under a shade canopy with excellent airflow. The drying with shade adds 4 to 5 days overall drying time with this Red Honey, and affords us a stable distribution of moisture content throughout the cellular structure, along with a dialed in water activity. While shade drying gives just a little more control than full sun-drying, it can be a little tricky to cover the parchment at the right times. We find this strong uniformity in the drying of all the coffees is critical in a good honey process.


Black, Red, and White Honey are so called due to the color of the parchment. Black Honey coffees carry characteristic black splotches from the heavy mucilage load. Red Honey coffees are also splotched, but less so than black and the splotches are more red than black. White Honey carries the least mucilage and is more yellow/white in hue over all. 


Award winning coffee one of our most popular best sellers.

This delicious coffee is just a most try!

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