We first started to work with Nelson back in 2016 on my first visit to Colombia. Since then, we have grown to not only love Nelson’s coffee but also how genuine he is along with his passion for producing quality work. On a personal level, what I loved most about Nelson’s coffee is that it reminded me of some of the best traits from wines you might find in Beaujolais- light bodied, well structured and lovely acidity. On any given harvest, Nelson’s approach is pretty traditional - pick the ripest cherries, depulp the same day as collected, using his trusted hand cranked depulper, then send the coffees straight into the fermentation tank for up to 18 hours.
However, for this project, we decided to switch things up and invite the knowledgeable team at Azahar to dream up new (and safe) ways to process Nelson’s coffee. The mastermind behind this Special process in none other than Azahar’s Director of Quality Control Jayson Galvis whom after I requested to do a controlled project with one of our producers signed up to run an experiment. Due to Yacuanquer’s climate, processing anything other than washed coffees is risky, so opting to do honey or naturals is out of the question. What Jayson recommended was an experiment he performed with a producer in Huila by the name of Edilberto Vergara which was to collect the mucilage from the fermentation process, store in in clean containers and refrigerate the mucilage to slow down and delay the reproduction of microorganisms that are spurred by the fermentation process. Some of the samples were kept from 24 to 72 hours in controlled climate and stirred in the mucilage in the fermentation tanks. In this experiment, the hope was to control the following variables. 1- decrease the fermentation time 2- improve the culture of bacteria, yeasts and molds in fermentation 3- be an aid to fermentation and its quality 4- use the same bacterial culture of the farm and its environment without altering its nature This year’s experiments are two coffees- Blend Afrutado, which is the same process mixing coffees from 3 different producers and Nelson’s coffee separated as a microlot. The resulting flavors are a combination of what we love about coffee from Nariño with an amplified sweetness which bodes well with the caturras existing acidity.
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