In our Special Processing Series we are on the lookout for coffee processing techniques which are a bit different from the more traditional methods, resulting in surprising smell and taste experiences.
Today we are informing you on the three Special Processing methods we have reserved for the summer of '22.
We start off with something familiar from the last two years but on such a hype these days that we thought it would be good to put it under the spot light for one more time:
The picked cherries are placed in sealed tanks that are pressurized from CO2 buildup, and then remaining pressure and oxygen are let out using release valves. After a couple of days the cherries are laid in the open, drying on covered raised beds. It can take 20-40 days to dry depending on the temperatures.
In the past years we somethings called this method the Macerated Processing method or Carbonic Maceration Processing and we only used the term 'Anaerobic' when not the cherry, but stripped beans were put in tanks for fermentation. These days you barely hear the 'Carbonic Maceration' and also at Caffenation we prefer to stick to 'Anaerobic' and then add 'washed' or 'natural', depending on the fact the cherries went through a wet mill first or not.
The Anaerobic Processed lot from FINCA LA PEDRO, out of Marcala Honduras is relatively light on ferment, but still very sweet and wild. Probably a smart move they gave this coffee some extra time to ferment seen the very soft original flavors. If processed classical washed, this one would have probably been judged as too boring.
PILE UP PROCESSING:
In this case, the cherries are are placed on plastic sheets on top of the raised beds in piles, up to 15-20 cm thick, the cherries are then rolled up in the plastic and they are left to ferment in this way. After fermentation the cherries are dried on beds as is normally done for natural coffees.
The coffee bean used is called DIMTU and coming from the Sakicha Washing Station where the station manager Gosaye Tilahun invented this weird method. If process and fermented fruit is your thing, this is the coffee for you! This coffee has super process-driven flavors, with wild grapefruit like fruit, acetic and lactic acidity, and a fudgey finish. This is an intense coffee in every way!
SPICY WASHED - CARDAMOM PROCESSING:
If you think you've seen and tasted it all you were underestimating the fantasy of these coffee guys from the HAMBELA Bedessa Washing Station in Guji Ethiopia.
The cardamom which is added is pretty cool, grown in the west of Ethiopia and nothing like the cardamom you buy in the supermarket. It has huge pods with lots of seeds that grow on a vein and which are ground into a powder. This powder is put in the tank during fermentation. After this fermentation the process can be further handled as a washed or a natural coffee. In this case we choose a spicy washed coffee, meaning the remaining pulp was washed away after fermentation.
Expect a funky and complex coffee with distinctive cardamom flavors and a long and spicy aftertaste.
As the people at origin worked very hard to achieve these wonderful flavors it is normal they get paid an extra buck for all these efforts. The trader responsible for all these findings, Nordic Approach, paid around $11 per kilo to export these lots, which is way more than the fairtrade price of $2,80! Maybe time for all these 'fairtrade' companies to stop using the term 'fair' for once and for all. :-)
This is also the reason we are putting these coffees in the market at a slightly higher price than other 'regular' lots this summer. But as we want all people to be able to buy it, I think we keep it very fair at €12 a 250gr bag! (with some reduction for wholesale clients).