||Thailand Doi Saket Natural Typica 2017
||Doi Saket, Chiang Mai
Doi Saket is the oldest coffee growing area in Thailand, located in Chiang Mai province. Back in the late 1970s, the first Arabica trees were tested there as part of the opium replacement program instituted by the Thai King. Those trees have never been replaced by higher-yield cultivars, like in many other regions. As a result, heirloom varietals, particularly Typica, are still commonplace in many old farms. The coffee trees are 30–40 years old – older than the farmers!
This lot was intended to demonstrate to the farmers that there are people out there who appreciate and are willing to pay more for the heirloom cultivar to compensate for the lower yield. Typica is now rare because farmers replaced it with higher yielding plant stock and strands that are more rust resistant. The region grows coffee from 1,000–1,500 m.a.s.l., but we only work with smallholders whose farms sit above 1,300 m.a.s.l. and have almost all Typica plants.
This is a super small lot – just two bags, in fact. Thai coffee is rare in the first place, but Thai Typica is super rare. This natural is the rarest of the rare coffees!
Everything to do with this lot was done with meticulous attention to detail ...
1. Ripe cherries were picked in the morning from Typica trees, and the processing began right away to avoid unwanted fermentation.
2. Only perfectly cherries were selected by hand sorting to make sure only perfectly ripe ones made the cut.
3. The cherries were sampled to make sure that their Brix values were higher than 22. This in turn meant that this lot started to be put together towards the end of the harvest season.
4. The cherries were floated to remove any defective coffee beans.
5. The cherries were laid on raised beds in a single layer to minimize the cherries touching each other, which ensures even moisture and lack of unwanted fermentation.
6. The coffee was dried in a greenhouse in a controlled environment. The drying was carefully monitored over three weeks with the continued picking-out of any cherries that did not meet expectations. Drying continued until the moisture of the cherries reached 10%. The cherries-to-green-bean conversion ratio is typically 15% (1 to 0.15) but for this lot the conversion was 5% (1 to 0.05) because of the amount of beans that were picked out during the processing.
In the cup expect something unusual. It's malt loaf, prunes and figs, finishing in a sultana fest. One of the best Thai coffees I’ve ever tasted.
Region: Doi Saket, Chiang Mai
Processing method: Natural
Altitude: 1,300–1,500 m.a.s.l.
Medium dark – dropping just as you are reaching the first pops of second crack.
"Quick Look" Guide
Malt loaf, prune, fig, sultana.
Note: Cupping Scores for Acidity & Flavour are actually 6.5 each, not as above (software limitation, allows whole numbers only)
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