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Bright green apple, almond, chocolate and a hint of strawberry

This special microlot is sourced from 7 producers from the Sampieri brothers and Zilli family farms in the Huatusco region as part of an innovation program in Mexico. For this project cherries have been purchased direct from the producers and new fermentation tequniques employed to improve the SCA score by up to 3 points.

Origin - Peru

Subregion - Huatusco, Veracruz

Harvest season - 2021/2022

Processing - Washed

Plant Species - Arabica

Variety - Colombia, Costa Rica, Marsellesa

Coffee Grade - MEX CA WA SHG

Mexico Olum Innovation - Washed with Starter Culture (2022)

  • The climate of the region around the town of Huatusco de Chicuellar is perfect for growing coffee, but peculier in that it rains often and is cold at night. This can make fermenting and drying coffee complicated, which is why the farmers tend to sell coffee in cherry.

    For Gerardo Sampiere and his brother, who have always been coffee farmers, the rugged mountain region around Huatusco is home. Bernado Zili and his coffee farm, Tlacotla, have earned a reputation for growing and nurturing excellent coffee. They recently certified their farms Rain Forest Alliance and are very pround of the high certification score.

  • The transformation of coffee cherry to a green coffee bean is a complex biotechnological process. The process involves fermentation where microorganisms (yeast, bacteria and fungi) use the mucilage in the coffee cherry digest the carbohydrates and produce complex metabolites. These metabolites when roasted provide the wonderful coffee aroma and the taste to the cup of coffee.

    While fermentation is a very dynamic process there are some elements that are in our control. Elements like time, temperature, and cherry ripeness are the basics. Fermentation is done by two pathways in Olam Innovation. The first is to use the indigenous microorganisms which are naturally present much like is used in Natural Wine production. The second pathway is by introducing a specific starter culture which will enhance the production of favourable volatiles (flavour elements).

    For this special lot the first path was followed using indigenous microorganisms found in the coffee. The first step when doing this process is the rigorous cleaning of the fermentation tanks to start with a clean environment. The cherries from the Zili and Sampiere family are delivered the coffee to the Olam Cherry Mill and depulped.

    The natural yeasts, bacteria and fungi that come in with the cherry are the protagonists in this fermentation. Some could consider this to be the best representation of the environment. This specific fermentation runs for about three times longer than the normal fermentation time. We are constantly monitoring the pH, and temperature of this lot to make sure it is on track. Lastly when the time has come, we wash the coffee and dry it to 11% moisture.

    A few of the exciting takeaways from this experience. The coffee through this extended fermentation process increased the cup score almost 3 points on the SCA scale. We also measured the aroma fingerprint of theses coffees and they were significantly different from the normal coffee processed in the cherry mill. For this lot the coffee is incredibly sweet but not quite as complex as the coffee with starter culture.

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