Later today we are launching the first of a number of “interesting” coffee processes. When Mrs. James (a true traditionalist) asks what’s going on with the coffee today, whilst sipping her morning coffee, we know we are safely out of the ordinary.
Winey processes, naturals, red, black, yellow honey, and carbonic macerated coffees are not for everyone. The complexity that these processes can deliver is sometimes incredible and sometimes not. Some will love and some will really dislike. Polarising like a certain yeast extract spread!
The first Winey process we have for you is from Neel and Kavita Vohora. Neal manages a huge area of coffee and seems to be experimenting with everything, from yeast to carbonic. Legend has it that in Tanzania, you have to send your coffee to auction but to add any value, you have to buy your own coffee back and then market it as your own?
The wine or winey process, for coffee, isn’t quite as exciting as I hoped. A few years back there was a Scottish roastery putting green coffee in used whiskey barrels. The moisture got too much for the coffee so the end result was both the worst coffee and whiskey experience that you could have and it wasn’t cheap.
To add to this, the Wine process has only one thing to do with wine, which is that it can have a slightly winey acidity (in theory). The Wine process is basically anaerobic. This is where the cherries are fermented in an oxygen-free environment, where the carbon dioxide can vent. The cherries are monitored for temperature, acidity, sugars (brix), and moisture, to a critical point.
Anaerobic fermentation takes longer than standard but can add layers of flavour to the coffee, which is what the whole exercise is about. Adding flavour and value through innovation.