Our collaboration with the Vizcaino Family at Finca Esperanza in Guatemala continues to yield awesome results. This washed lot of Catuai starts off the 2019 harvests. During the 24-hour soaking stage, added CIMA yeast controls the microbial consumption of coffee fruit. This step originated during our 2016 yeast trials at Esperanza.
Our previous work at Finca Esperanza in Guatemala focused on comparing and observing the influence of maceration inoculated with and without yeast. This test allowed us to better understand the benefits and limitation of yeast and non-yeast maceration. It also allowed us to work together with Ana’s staff and establish protocols. We left that process with an appreciation for cleanliness during maceration.
Two years ago, the Vizcaino’s invested in a new beneficio (wet mill), which brought the challenge of larger scale implementation. Last year, we sought to apply the lessons learned in the last years to this new system. The ability to run these tests on a smaller scale meant lower risk and lower investment before moving them to a larger scale in the new beneficio. This investment in time and experimentation prepared her staff for the expectations of specialty coffee processing and allowed them to focus mental energy into the use and maintenance of new equipment. Now, the beneficio produces constant, delicious lots of coffee. The Vizcaino’s have even started buying fresh cherry from neighboring farms to increase the quality of coffee coming out of Cerro Azul.
Finca Esperanza’s solar drying house is used to dry this lot of coffee as well. It employs raised beds and controllable airflow to regulate temperature, air movement, and humidity during drying.
Team taste notes: graham, orange, brown spice, brown sugar, molasses, maple, nougat
Decaf Huila EA is our current decaffeinated coffee option. It is decaffeinated using the Ethyl Acetate process, which uses locally sourced sugarcane as the source for the decaffeinating agent.
Huila is a well-establish region in south-central Colombia from which the Decaf Huila EA is sourced. It’s known for its clean, complex coffees and high altitudes. It is divided by the Magdalena River, which runs from north to south through the region dividing the central and eastern Cordillera Mountains. There are multiple harvest seasons even within this region because the region contains thousands of farms on opposing western and eastern-facing mountain slopes. The land is lush, green, and quite rural. Most coffee is grown on small, family-run farms where coffee is harvested, washed, and dried on the farm.
The coffee is decaffeinated before leaving Colombia. Decaffeinating the coffee before export saves a tremendous amount of time and energy, which equates to improved flavor, lower costs, and less emissions.
The process of decaffeination involves taking the green, unroasted coffee and putting it into a volatile state where it releases its soluble compounds into a water bath. The caffeine is removed from the water bath using either a solvent or filter. For this coffee, an affordable and local solvent, Ethyl Acetate, is used to remove the caffeine with minor effects on taste quality. It is derived from sugarcane as it is being processed for alternative uses (sugar, rum, molasses, etc). Once the caffeine has been removed from the water bath of solubles, the remaining solubles are placed back in a tank with the green coffee mass and allowed to reabsorb. What remains is a stable, slightly more brownish-green, unroasted coffee that is ready for export.
Team taste notes: chocolate, grape, nutty, teriyaki, brown sugar, dried fruit, malt, apple
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