Honduras Adalila Argueta Kombucha-Honey
Pear, Green Apple, Almond, Brown Sugar
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COFFEES OF THE MONTH - APR 2023
Variety: Catuai and Typica
Process: Kombucha-Honey process, depulped and fermented for 20 hours and then dried between 12-15 days on elevated tables
Elevation: 1500 MASL
Producer: Adalila Argueta
Farm: Finca El Naranjo
Region: La Tejera, Santa Elena, La Paz
This is an experimental Kombucha-fermented honey coffee from Santa Elena, Honduras, produced by Adalila Argueta in conjunction with the Catracha Coffee Project.
Adalila Argueta has a 2-acre farm called El Naranjo in the community of La Tejera where she lives. She has improved farm management practices using lime to control the pH of the soil, fertilizing with organic compost, and spraying organic fungicides to control levels of leaf rust. These actions have improved the health of her farm and the quality of his coffee production. Adalila has also learned to process coffee using her own micro-mill so that she can depulp, ferment and dry coffee.
Adalila follows a strict processing protocol, which includes hand sorting to remove under ripe cherries and floating cherries to remove damaged and less dense beans. She also allows cherries to ferment slightly in the cool night air on raised beds before depulping the next day. This year, Adalila fermented the depulped coffee for 24 hours in barrels with water and Kombucha SCOBY covering the top of the slurry. After fermenting, she placed the coffee on raised beds to dry in the sun with the mucilage still attached to the seeds. The processing strategy maintains the same clean crisp acidity as a washed coffee with an additional fruit forward aroma and flavor. The process also lets Adalila skip the washing stage and significantly reduce water consumption.
Colombia Quindio Edwin Norena Gold Honey Carbonic Maceration
Orange Blossom, Lime, Ginger, Honey
Variety: Yellow Bourbon
Process: Carbonic Macerated Mossto Gold Honey
Producer: Edwin Norena
Farm: Finca Campo Hermoso
Elevation: 1600 MASL
Region: Circasia municipality, Quindio department
Edwin Noreña is the farmer and inheritor of Finca Campo Hermoso, following three prior generations. Edwin’s contribution to the family legacy would be to convert the farm into a specialty coffee powerhouse, with a specific focus on fermentation technique and cultivar selection. Noreña is an agroindustrial engineer by trade with graduate-level studies in biotechnology and is well-connected and highly aspirational coffee producer who focuses on cultivating carefully curated varieties paired with precise processing methods, designed to express the most surprising, memorable, and delicious coffees possible within his resources. Finca Campo Hermoso concentrates on growing cultivars far apart from the nationally-distributed hybrids of Castillo or Colombia, or the traditional Caturra. Instead the farm has in production Pink and Yellow Bourbon, Sidra, Gesha, and Cenicafe 1.
Quindío is Colombia’s second-smallest department by size, making up only about 0.2% of the national territory. It’s location, however, right on the central cordillera of Colombia’s vast Andes divide. Almost the entire department is mountainous, its lowest elevations still over 1000 meters, and many parts are dense with coffee plantations, from the small to the large and ambitious.
Edwin’s processing for this particular lot involves a two-step fermentation. Fresh cherry is first soaked in water for 1 hour, and then fermented by carbonic maceration, in which the fruit is sealed in a chamber with a one-way valve for oxygen to escape but not enter, creating an increasingly CO2-rich environment as the cherry ferments. After 48-hours in the sealed chamber, the cherry is depulped and fermented in a covered tank with the addition of the yellow must ("mossto")—the sugary, tangy juice produced during carbonic maceration. This second fermentation lasts 72 hours. Once complete the parchment is washed clean, leaving about 25% of the original mucilage intact ("Gold Honey") and taken to raised beds to dry in the sun. Drying takes 15 days for this process.
Panama Maribel Gonzalez CCD Anaerobic Natural 'Static Cherry'
Pineapple, Pomegranate, Cacao Nib
Variety: Catuai, Typica, Caturra
Process: Anaerobic Natural 66 hours
Producer: Maribel Gonzalez, processed by Creative Coffee District
Farm: Clavo de Oro
Elevation: 1550 MASL
This is a new coffee project called Creativa Coffee District. It was started by the same team from the renowned farm, La Palma y El Tucan, and it has an amazing vision. CCD has taken over a very old processing facility in Panama, which has been decommissioned for many years now. They've not only turned this into a coffee mecca but also created a platform for artists. This project will host an artist residency and will fuse the worlds of specialty coffee with eco-tourism and art.
This particular lot is part of the Neighbours and Crops program. CCD buys cherry at premiums from nearby producers. Maribel Gonzalez, the producer for M11, grows the coffee. Creativa Coffea District is responsible for the processing, dry milling, branding, and logistics. This allows their neighbors to focus their efforts on other areas of life, confident that their coffee will be purchased at a sustainable price
What the CCD calls "Static Cherry":
"Anaerobic fermentation allows us to stimulate the bacteria and yeast growth that flourishes in oxygen-free environments. The fermentation phase ranges from 24 hours to 216 hours. This lot was fermented for 66 hours. We noticed that the lots with shorter fermentations present more lactic and subtle profiles, with higher acidity and sweetness. On the other hand, while cupping the results from more extended fermentations, we perceived more intense flavors. We get stronger profiles with an acidity that brings an effervescence and a staggering complexity to the palette."