The Processing Purist
When we buy coffee, there are a number of parameters that we need and like to fulfill. Firstly flavour or cup quality is the priority. Then we need that coffee to be a great example of where it comes from and if this can build into a relationship with a producer, then we are happy as there are meaning and connection in the process. For a very long time, that has been our focus. Every so often, there is a coffee that starts to change my mind and that’s kind of why I have written this.
So much of conventional processing is about delivering coffee as it should be. Well picked, sorted ripe coffee that has been processed well is often as good as it can be. Often when producers go outside of this, we start to get problems in the cup quality.
Enhancer or Intruder?
We have tried many coffees between good, interesting, and odd from Brazil and Colombia in recent years, but I always like to keep my eyes and tastebuds open and receptive. A few weeks back we got the opportunity to taste some Carbonic Macerated, naturally processed coffee. This is identical to the same process, used in some winemaking. Bearing in mind that ferment is a fine line in coffee processing and can be the turning point in a coffee that goes from borderline perfection to the possibly undrinkable.
I was all ready to not like these two tiny lots of coffee on principle. How wrong was I? In the first 4 days, I had brewed a Kilo of the Pink Bourbon from Andres Guaca. It turns out that the levels of complexity are worth the extra and why one lot we have has been CM for 64 hours and the other, 40. There are so many experiments going on, I think that when the coffee is good enough then we should be prepared to pay a premium in return for the risk.
These coffees are not for everyone, but they are super tasty if you are a broad-minded coffee drinker.
Let us know what you think…