H is for...

Hard Bean: Coffee plants thrive in mountainous areas and coffee beans that are grown in high altitudes have features which reflect where they are grown. Hard bean coffee refers to coffee beans that are cultivated between 4000 and 4500 feet above sea level. Beans that are grown at this height develop much more slowly than beans grown in lowland areas. The way in which these varieties of coffee beans are essentially packed with much more flavour – and the fact that harvesting them is even more labour intensive – means that they are costlier to buyers.

Harvesting: The roles fulfilled by coffee harvesters are extremely demanding. Most of the world’s coffee crop is harvested by hand: pickers literally strip cherries from the coffee plant using their fingers. While upland coffee crops must be harvested by hand due to steep and difficult terrain, lowland coffee plantations sometimes utilise machinery which strips the fruit from the coffee plants. Although machines greatly improve the efficiency of a harvest, they cannot distinguish between under-ripe and over-ripe coffee cherries. For a balanced and flavoursome cup of coffee, it is essential that only ripe coffee cherries are processed into coffee – meaning that many plantations rely on manual labour to ensure high standards.

Herbal: A term which is frequently used to describe coffee which has a grassy aroma.

Honduras: Honduras is the leading producer of coffee in Central America – having claimed the title from Guatemala at the beginning of the twentieth century – and is currently the fifth biggest producer worldwide. Despite its diminutive size, the nation is the second-largest exporter of Arabica coffee beans after Brazil. The country’s climate is ideal for coffee production, and Honduran coffee comes from six main regions, with beans from each boasting a diverse variety of characteristics.

Hopper: Crowning the top of a grinder, the hopper stores whole beans before grinding. Assisted by gravity, beans drop into the grinder’s chamber before passing below into the doser.