DISCOVERY

Driven By Process

This month we showcase two very different approaches to creating quality. Depending on the raw material available, the conditions at the wet mill, the aims for the final cup, or even the culture of coffee growing in that area, the method chosen will be very different. In this month’s subscription, Café Granja La Esperanza and METAD have taken two very different approaches, both leading to very high quality and characterful coffees, with their flavour profile driven by very different steps in their journey.

At Café Granja La Esperanza’s farm Potosí in the Valle del Cauca region of Colombia, they grow several varietals, including the hybrid San Juan. The team at Granja elevate their San Juan cherries using an exacting and characterful method they have dubbed XO Natural. The long pre-fermentation in stainless steel tanks leads to a process-driven character in the cup, awash with rich, deep and soft ripe fruits, punctuated by a crisp acidity.

The approach taken by the team from METAD at their Halo Beriti mill in Gedeb, Ethiopia is rather different. Here, they are fortunate to receive cherries grown in bio-diverse eco-systems with fertile soils, a blend of well-suited native coffee varietals. To create excellent coffee from these cherries takes a lighter touch, with a more simple washed process used. This creates a cup with delicately perfumed floral aromas, and crisp citrus and tea notes.

Colombia

Café Granja La Esperanza

The Herrera family purchased Finca Potosí in 1945 and planted several varieties that were unusual for Colombia at the time, including yellow and red Bourbon. This started the Granja tradition of experimentation, leading to recognition from other farmers in the Cauca Valley. They also looked outside Colombia for further insight, and jumped at the opportunity to lease a small farm in Panama. Rigoberto moved, and his years of producing experience were all too obvious, their lot of Geisha won the Best of Panama within 2 years.

When Rigoberto returned to Granja, he brought back not only experience, but Panamanian Geisha seeds. These seeds were the foundation for the next stage of growth, beginning to chase extraordinary flavour profiles and the super high end specialty market. The experience of bringing a Panamanian varietal to Colombia was pivotal to Granja in their endeavour to adapt more exotic varietals to the Colombian soil, showcasing a wide view of the Cauca Valley terroir.

Ethiopia

Heirloom

In Ethiopia, coffee still grows semi-wild, and in some cases completely wild. Apart from some regions of neighbouring South Sudan, Ethiopia is the only country in which coffee is found growing in this way, due to its status as the genetic birthplace of arabica coffee. This means in many regions, small producers still harvest cherries from wild coffee trees growing in high altitude humid forests, especially around Ethiopia’s famous Great Rift Valley.

Throughout all of these systems, a much higher level of biodiversity is maintained than in modern coffee production in most of the rest of the world. This is partly due to the forest system, and partly down to the genetic diversity of the coffee plants themselves. There are thousands of so far uncategorised ‘heirloom’ varieties growing in Ethiopia; all descended from wild cross pollination between species derived from the original Arabica trees. This biodiversity leads to hardier coffee plants, which don’t need to be artificially fertilised. This means that 95% of coffee production in Ethiopia is organic, although most small farmers and mills can’t afford to pay for certification, so can’t label their coffee as such. The absence of monoculture in the Ethiopian coffee lands also means plants are much less susceptible to the decimating effects of diseases such as leaf rust that have ripped through other producing countries.

Valle del Cauca

Potosí

This is the fifth year we have purchased this particular lot from Cafe Granja, a coffee that illustrates Granja’s continuing commitment to set a new standard for flavour enhancement through post-harvest processing. This lot of the San Juan varietal is grown on the original Granja farm, Finca Potosí. The team at Fincas Potosí and Las Margaritas, both of which lie just outside the town of Caicedonia in northern Valle, are constant innovators, even creating their own hybrid varietals through manual cross pollination of trees. San Juan is an example of this, a cross between Granja’s Bourbon and Pacamara plant stock. In the mountains above Caicedonia, traditional natural processing is very difficult to control due to high average humidity of over 70%, and frequent rains during harvest. For this process, CGLE have used a very long in-cherry fermentation of around 50 hours in open temperature-controlled tanks. After the fermentation, the cherries are transferred to drying silos for a slow and controlled mechanical drying, making a full natural process possible in this humid and damp climate. Their meticulous production process has resulted in a coffee that creates a balance between primary terroir flavours, and secondary process-driven flavours.

In this cup, this means fresh and bright acidity from the high altitude Cauca Valley terroir, combined with soft ripe fruit and a heavy rich sweetness, like we’d expect from a great natural.

Yirgacheffe

Gedeb

Gedeb is produced by METAD, a family-run business driven by three brothers, Michael, Aman and Tariku Adinew. They own several mills in the Oromia region, including in some of the most iconic Ethiopian coffee towns, like Yirgacheffe. METAD encourage and provide training in environmentally sustainable farming practices; many of their coffees are certified organic. This lot comes from one of METAD’s largest washing stations in the Gedeb region, at Halo Beriti. METAD have a very in depth and precise system of traceability, making sure that coffee delivered from different towns and on different days is kept separate throughout the process. Therefore, we know that this lot comes from farmers around the village of Halo Beriti itself, and that it is grown between 2100 and 2300 masl. Ethiopia’s mode of growing, with a high level of biodiversity, healthy fertile soils, and excellent climatic conditions lead to some of the highest quality raw material we find anywhere in the coffee belt. This means very little influence from process on the final cup is required, which this very clean washed lot illustrates perfectly.

In the cup, this leads to a highly concentrated sweetness like tinned fruit, while maintaining the citrus and floral character that we so enjoy in Ethiopian coffees. Here, the florals are incredibly perfumed and delicate, some of the finest we have experienced in recent memory.

DISCOVERY

Unveiling potential

Through our years of travelling for coffee, we have seen many different ways of producing quality. This month’s pack presents two of the most starkly contrasting examples of this. The flavour profile of Potosí is driven by its innovative process, one that is made necessary by the humid and cool conditions during harvest. At the Halo Beriti mill in Gedeb, the flavour profile is driven by hundreds of well-suited native coffee varietals growing in bio-diverse and fertile eco-systems. The processing here simply unveils the potential of this raw material, made possible by predictably warm and dry conditions.

Two very different approaches, one using precision technology and scientific rigour, the other relying on generational experience in the world’s oldest coffee growing culture. We hope you enjoy both this month.

Opening Hours

La Cabra - Graven

Graven 20

8000 Aarhus C

Denmark

Opening Hours:

Mon - Sat: 08:00 - 18:00

Sun: 09:00 - 17:00

La Cabra - Bakery

Borggade 4F

8000 Aarhus C

Denmark

Opening Hours:

Mon - Sat: 07:00 - 18:00

Sun: 07:00 - 17:00

La Cabra - New York

152 2nd Ave

New York

United States

Opening Hours:

Mon - Fri: 08:00 - 18:00

Sat - Sun: 09:00 - 18:00

La Cabra - Bangkok

813 Charoen Krung Rd, Talat Noi, Samphanthawong

Bangkok 10100

Thailand

Opening Hours:

Mon: Closed

Tue - Fri: 08:00 - 17:00

Sat - Sun: 09:00 - 18:00

Graven 20

8000 Aarhus C

Denmark

Opening Hours:

Mon - Sat: 08:00 - 18:00

Sun: 09:00 - 17:00

Borggade 4F

8000 Aarhus C

Denmark

Opening Hours:

Mon - Sat: 07:00 - 18:00

Sun: 07:00 - 17:00

152 2nd Ave

New York

United States

Opening Hours:

Mon - Fri: 08:00 - 18:00

Sat - Sun: 09:00 - 18:00

813 Charoen Krung Rd, Talat Noi, Samphanthawong

Bangkok 10100

Thailand

Opening Hours:

Mon: Closed

Tue - Fri: 08:00 - 17:00

Sat - Sun: 09:00 - 18:00

Contact

Webshop

Marguerite Vibys Pl. 1

2000 Frederiksberg

Denmark

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Please write us in the chat.

Roastery

Marguerite Vibys Pl. 1

2000 Frederiksberg

Denmark

Marguerite Vibys Pl. 1

2000 Frederiksberg

Denmark

Have a question?

Please write us in the chat.

Marguerite Vibys Pl. 1

2000 Frederiksberg

Denmark

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