Our 2022/2023 Specialty Coffee Experiments
Updated: May 17
This year we implemented a more stable inoculation protocol with our OG coffee experiment. Our Antigua Experimental coffee is fermented with spent yeast from a local craft brewery in Guatemala. Working with Cerveceria 14 and adding another use to their yeast helps stretch out the footprint of that material that is sourced from aboard but it also allows us to inoculate the coffee beans with a consistent healthy dose of yeast every batch, creating a more stable and reproducible profile for you to enjoy.
This year we expanded our Double Fermented Natural coffee, it's a long process but yields a very interesting cup. We ferment the freshly picked coffee cherries in a tank with yeast for 48+ hours and then pull it out and allow them to slowly ferment and dry on the drying beds for an additional 3 weeks. Most Natural process coffees have fruity forward profiles but with our extended process we add a bit more complexities to the cup and aroma. This coffee makes for a great cold brew or ice v60 and we can't wait for you to try it.
Every year we try two new experiments to see if they produce a interesting worth while coffee, we usually only produce around 100 pounds of green coffee of each. Usually they are one off coffees and won't be reproduce unless we have an interested cafe that would love to offer it, so tell your cafe friends about it.
Our Chicha inspired fermented coffee was our second time fermenting with fruits, Chicha is traditional LATAM home-brew that is usually made to celebrate an occasion. In San Miguel Escobar where we produce our coffees, chicha is made out of wild apples, wild plums ( Jocote ) and water, so you can kinda guess what we did. So we used those ingredients and added salt to purify the fermentation and utilize the wild yeast on the fruit and coffee to eat all the sugar. It fermented for 7 days and is our nod to the traditions of the town that we depend on for our delicious coffees. This coffee was then washed processed and dried out for a couple weeks in the beds.
We also dabbled with our first Honey processed coffee, and it was a big learning opportunity for us. We produced a double fermented black honey coffee, which inlvoved fermenting freshly peeled coffee beans with salt for 48 hours and then pulled it out on the drying beds for 3 weeks. While it was in the drying bed we covered it with some shade which produces a black honey coffee. Honey is a process which you peel the coffee and then you let the coffee ferment in the mucilage as it dries out on the sun patios. It's a great process for producers who have limited access to water and there are three types of honey processed coffees.
The most common is yellow honey which is the process stated above, red honey is when you add some shade to the coffee which slows down the drying process and turns the mucilage redish in color and black honey is when you add more shade which causes the mucilage turn black in color. Slowing down the drying process adds some complexities to the profile but amplifies the risk of the coffee over fermenting or over drying which affects the longevity of the coffee.
These coffees holdtheir own when compared to tradional processed coffees and we know this because of their Qscore. A Q-grader measures the quality of the cup based of a set of metrics that results the coffee recieving a score between 0-100, anything above 80 points qualifies it to be specialty coffee. Scores of 85 to 87 demonstrates an effort by the producer to improve the cup, 88+ points are usually given to a small amount of coffees that were created in a perfect storm of sorts. Coffees' quality is impacted greatly on climate and environment which is out of our controls, and sometimes it'll improve the coffee in a way that the producer can't replicate again. So producers who constantly produce between 85 and 87 point coffees are great at what they do and their value should always be high,
Our scores for these experimental coffees
Antigua Experimental : 86.75
Double Fermented Natural : 86.75
Chicha Fermented : 86.5
Black Honey : 84.5