DISCOVERY

Intentional Fermentation

This month’s coffees illustrate the importance of fermentation in shaping a coffee’s cup profile. Of course high quality, carefully sorted ripe coffee cherries are full of potential, but this potential is only realised through careful and intentional fermentation. This month’s coffees showcase the flavour shaping potential of fermentation, creating wild and tropical fruit-driven character in Shantawene, while allowing sweet and fresh notes to shine in La Roca.

Both are excellent examples of intentional flavour creation through fermentation, enhancing the profile of iconic terroirs to create two contrasting experiences. We hope you enjoy both this month.

Fermentation

Shaping a cup profile

This month’s coffees illustrate the importance of fermentation in shaping a coffee’s cup profile. Of course high quality, carefully sorted ripe coffee cherries are full of potential, but this potential is only realised through careful and intentional fermentation. The wild and tropical fruit-driven character in Shantawene, is generated by 72 hours of fermentation in sealed tanks.

The lack of oxygen encourages a dominant bacterial fermentation, leading to the generation of lactic acid, and complex volatile aroma compounds. This takes the normally fresh and floral character of Sidamo coffees, and adds rich aromas of tropical fruit, a wild acidity, and a complex and sweet ripe fruit sweetness.

At the La Roca micro mill in Tarrazu, Costa Rica, the Umaña brothers aim to create a fresh, bright and sweet cup. They use high quality equipment like their Penagos Ecopulper to carefully control the amount of fruity mucilage left on the coffee seeds before drying. For this lot, as much mucilage as possible was removed, leading to a fresh and bright character, similar to a washed coffee but with minimal water usage. Here, the acidity is bright and reminiscent of citrus, while the sweetness is almost confected, giving a cup profile reminiscent of mandarin, toffee and vanilla.

Both of this month’s coffees are excellent examples of intentional flavour creation through fermentation, enhancing the profile of iconic terroirs to create two contrasting experiences.

Ethiopia

The Shantawene farm

In 2006, brothers Asefa and Mulugeta Dukamo founded Daye Bensa, a coffee grower and exporter in Ethiopia. They now own several washing stations, serving more than 1400 smallholders in the towns of Bombe, Karamo and Shantawene in the Bensa district. This coffee however, rather uniquely for Ethiopia, was grown on a single farm, Daye Bensa’s own land just outside the village of Shantawene. Using the Shantawene farm as an example for the smallholder farmers they work with, Asefa and Mulugeta have participated in a government sponsored reforestation program, leading to enhanced shade and biodiversity in their fields, even by Ethiopian standards. This leads to well-nourished coffee trees, producing raw material that truly reflects the potential of this region.

With this lot, they have used anaerobic fermentation to create a wild and tropical fruit driven take on already sweet and rich terroir flavours. Whole cherries are sealed in plastic tanks for 72 hours before being moved to raised drying beds, and turned often during the entire 3 week drying process. This has created a clean expression, with notes of rich yellow fruits enhanced while holding on to the bright and floral character we expect from Sidamo coffees.

Fruity & wild

Anaerobic Heirloom

Shantawene is shaped by anaerobic fermentation, adding a layer of wild tropical fruit to the typically floral and round Sidamo profile.

Costa Rica

La Roca

La Roca was finally built in 2014, and we were able to visit during its first harvest season. The Umaña family now feel a much greater connection to their coffee; they are able to cup the final results, searching for the best varietals and processes for their farm. They are also able to directly invest in quality, demand higher prices for the micro-lots they produce, and keep more of the profit by consolidating their value chain. The youngest of the brothers, Dario, now wants to train as a barista and open a coffee shop in order to serve their own coffees directly, completing the chain from tree to cup.

La Roca

The Umaña Family

This is our fifth year purchasing from the La Roca micro-mill, located in the Tarrazu region of Costa Rica, at 1900 masl. The mill is run by the three Umaña brothers, Felix, Dario and Juan Carlos. They are the fourth generation of their family to work with coffee, but the road to this point has not been smooth. Previously, the family were selling unprocessed cherry to a local cooperative at a low price. Like many in Costa Rica, the brothers saw that they could take more control of their value chain by processing their own coffees, but simply did not have access to the funds or financing to invest in the infrastructure required. So two of the brothers made the decision to immigrate to the United States, working illegally for several years in order to be able to afford to build the mill.

Sweet & balanced

Honey Catuai

This is the same lot we have purchased from La Roca several times, a honey-processed Catuai. To accomplish this process, a Penagos Ecopulper is used, set to remove almost all of the fruity mucilage from the coffee seed while using minimal water. This results in a ‘white’ honey, aiming for a fresh and bright expression in the cup. In this lot, a deep toffee sweetness is enhanced by the processing, and joined by fresh and crisp notes of mandarin and vanilla.

HOW TO BREW

Victor's thoughts

With these recipes we aim to highlight the qualities of each coffee. These two recipes use two rather different techniques, with different cup profiles in mind.

brew guide

La Roca

For La Roca I would prefer to use a recipe with one long, slow pour after the bloom. The goal here is to keep the water level as low as possible above the coffee bed, ensuring that almost no water bypasses the coffee, running directly out of the sides of the paper filter.

DATA:

  • 15,5 grams of coffee (fine grind)
  • 260 grams of water 40ppm 94C
  • CAFEC Abaca or Light roast filters

METHOD:

Dose the finely ground coffee into the V60 and tap to create a flat even bed

0:00 add 60g of water

Pour straight in the centre for 30g, before spiralling outwards to wet all of the grounds. Don’t swirl or stir the bloom.

0:45 add 200g of water

Pour 40g in spirals (until the scale shows 100g) then pour straight in the centre until the scale shows 260g, pouring very slowly.

2:00 stop pour

I aim to finish my pour at around 2:00. If you are finished pouring earlier, try to pour even slower on your next brew.

3:00-3:00 brew done

All the water should have drained through the coffee bed between 3:00 and 3:30.

Taste notes

Soft brown sugar sweetness, citrus acidity, Lingering hazelnut aftertaste, Smooth and juicy texture and body

brew guide

Shantawene

For Shantawene I would use a recipe with 4 pours after the bloom. The goal here is to use a coarse grind to boost acidity, but use a very different pouring structure to increase extraction. If I used the same single pour recipe with this coarser grind size, the cup would lack character, with a very watery body. Adding the extra pours extends the contact time between water and coffee, increasing the extraction of the coarser grind.

DATA:

  • 15,5 grams of coffee (coarser grind)
  • 260 grams of water 40ppm 94C
  • CAFEC Abaca or Light roast filters

METHOD:

Dose the fine ground coffee into the V60 and shake to even out.

0:00 add 60g of water

Pour straight in the centre for 30g, before spiralling outwards to wet all of the grounds. Don’t swirl or stir the bloom.

0:40 add 50g (scale says 110g)r

Poured in slow spirals

1:20 add 50g (scale says 160g)

Poured in slow spirals

2:00 add 50g (scale says 210g)

Poured in slow spirals

2:40 add 50g (scale says 260g)

Poured in slow spirals

3:30-4:00 Brew done

All the water should have drained through the coffee bed between 3:30 and 4:00.

taste notes

Soft Tropical sweetness and acidity, Lingering floral aftertaste, Juicy and silky texture and body

DISCOVERY

Complex flavours

Fermentation is a process we see throughout the culinary world, helping to create complex flavour in coffee, chocolate, beer, wine and cheese among others. Its potential in coffee cannot be understated; fermentation allows us to enjoy wild and rich or clean and bright expressions of coffees from around the world, framing their terroir character in a myriad of new ways. As fermentation in coffee becomes more and more complex, we feel that this month’s coffees are an excellent reminder of what is possible on coffee’s journey from ripe cherry to final cup.

Opening Hours

East Village Bakery - NYC

152 2nd Ave

10003 New York

United States

Opening Hours:

Mon - Fri: 7:00 - 18:00

Sat - Sun: 8:00 - 18:00

Soho - NYC

284 Lafayette St

10012 New York

United States

Opening Hours:

Mon - Fri: 7:00 - 18:00

Sat - Sun: 8:00 - 18:00

Graven - Aarhus

Graven 20

8000 Aarhus C

Denmark

Opening Hours:

Mon - Sat: 8:00 - 18:00

Sun: 9:00 - 17:00

Borggade Bakery - Aarhus

Borggade 4F

8000 Aarhus C

Denmark

Opening Hours:

Mon - Sun: 7:00 - 17:00

Møntergade - Copenhagen

Møntergade 3A

1116 Copenhagen K

Denmark

Opening Hours:

Mon - Fri: 8:00 - 18:00

Sat - Sun: 9:00 - 17:00

Roastery - Copenhagen

Marguerite Vibys Plads 8

2000 Frederiksberg

Denmark

Opening Hours:

Mon - Fri: 8:00 - 17:00

Sat - Sun: Closed

Talad Noi - Bangkok

813 Charoen Krung Rd, Talat Noi, Samphanthawong

10100 Bangkok

Thailand

Opening Hours:

Mon - Fri: 8:00 - 17:00

Sat - Sun: 8:00 - 17:00

Ari - Bangkok

304 Phahonyothin Road, Samsen Nai, Phaya Thai

10400 Bangkok

Thailand

Opening Hours:

Mon - Fri: 08:00 - 17:00

Sat - Sun: 08:00 - 17:00

Muscat - Oman

Al Qurum Complex

113 Muscat

Oman

Opening Hours:

Mon - Sat: 07:00 - 21:00

Sun: Closed

152 2nd Ave

10003 New York

United States

Opening Hours:

Mon - Fri: 7:00 - 18:00

Sat - Sun: 8:00 - 18:00

284 Lafayette St

10012 New York

United States

Opening Hours:

Mon - Fri: 7:00 - 18:00

Sat - Sun: 8:00 - 18:00

Graven 20

8000 Aarhus C

Denmark

Opening Hours:

Mon - Sat: 8:00 - 18:00

Sun: 9:00 - 17:00

Borggade 4F

8000 Aarhus C

Denmark

Opening Hours:

Mon - Sun: 7:00 - 17:00

Møntergade 3A

1116 Copenhagen K

Denmark

Opening Hours:

Mon - Fri: 8:00 - 18:00

Sat - Sun: 9:00 - 17:00

Marguerite Vibys Plads 8

2000 Frederiksberg

Denmark

Opening Hours:

Mon - Fri: 8:00 - 17:00

Sat - Sun: Closed

813 Charoen Krung Rd, Talat Noi, Samphanthawong

10100 Bangkok

Thailand

Opening Hours:

Mon - Fri: 8:00 - 17:00

Sat - Sun: 8:00 - 17:00

304 Phahonyothin Road, Samsen Nai, Phaya Thai

10400 Bangkok

Thailand

Opening Hours:

Mon - Fri: 08:00 - 17:00

Sat - Sun: 08:00 - 17:00

Al Qurum Complex

113 Muscat

Oman

Opening Hours:

Mon - Sat: 07:00 - 21:00

Sun: Closed

Contact

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Marguerite Vibys Pl. 1

2000 Frederiksberg

Denmark

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Wholesale

Marguerite Vibys Pl. 1

2000 Frederiksberg

Denmark

Have a question?

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Marguerite Vibys Pl. 1

2000 Frederiksberg

Denmark

Have a question?

Please write us in the chat.

Marguerite Vibys Pl. 1

2000 Frederiksberg

Denmark

Have a question?

Please write us here