||Colombia Renacer Lactic Fermentation 2020
||Varietals: Caturra, Bourbon and Typica
This is the first time we’ve seen this unusual coffee, and it all started in Glasgow. It was at the Glasgow Coffee Festival that we met Diana, who was just beginning to import coffees from her native Colombia into the U.K. Originally from San Roque, near Medellin, Diana has three brothers producing coffee, and it’s an area which has lots of great potential with many small producers.
We’re always looking for great new coffees, so chats like this are pretty common. In this case, Diana realised she had something really unusual that would be a perfect fit for Hasbean. We’re glad to say that when we tasted it, we agreed.
The cherries for this lot come from three farms: El Descanso, El Tractor and Villa Sierra. After picking, the ripe fruit is transported to the wet mill, which is called Renacer (meaning 'new growth' or 'revival' in Spanish). It’s here that things take a turn for the unusual: the mill begins the 'Alcoholic-Lactic' process, which gives this coffee a distinctive and unique flavour.
First, the whole cherries are left for 100 hours, during which period the mill uses temperature to try to encourage yeast growth and fermentation. After this, the cherries are depulped and a cooler fermentation at around 17C begins, which aims to encourage lactobacillus. This lasts another 70 hours.
Both yeast growth and lactobacillus are normal (and important) parts of this process for any coffee. What’s different is the control they have used to encourage them at different stages, and how that develops distinctive flavours.
Experiments like this aren’t entirely unique: this is also the first year we’ve seen a lactic fermentation from Sumava mill in Costa Rica. The two lots share a distinctive quality that won’t leave you sitting on the fence. I hope you’ll be as excited as I am to try something totally new.
This unusual lactic process creates a unique flavour. Here it makes me think of mulled cider. There's sweet apple juice, a hint of lime playing with a boozy kick, and a slightly spicy finish. The body is big and viscous, which really plays a big part in keeping those flavours all in balance.
Neighbourhood: La Sierra
Farms: El Descanso, El Tractor and Villa Sierra
Altitude: 2,300 m.a.s.l.
Fermentation method: Lactic
Varietals: Caturra, Bourbon and Typica
Mulled cider, apple juice, lime, spicy
Clean cup: (1–8): 6
Sweetness: (1–8): 7
Acidity: (1–8): 6.5
Mouthfeel: (1–8): 7
Flavour: (1–8): 7
Aftertaste: (1–8): 6
Balance: (1–8): 6
Overall: (1–8): 6.5
Total (max. 100): 88
Medium-dark – through first crack and push it towards second. You're looking for the first pops of second crack as the coffee hits the cooling tray.
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