On Fermentation

ab22d214-ea6b-43ad-aba5-828a73dc000d.jpg

In Guatemala 95% of coffee is fully washed. This means the coffee beans are washed after de pulping to remove the mucilage completely. Before washing, fermentation might take place, to loosen up the mucilage or there might be a demucilager machine involved. There are many ways to ferment, it’s one of the most ancient way of changing or preserving natural ingredients. 

We are certain all of you have tasted the fruits of fermentation, be it in wine, yoghurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, cheese or more commonly, bread.  Even though humans have been fermenting for years, the coffee fermentation process can seem a Pandora's box. 

Fermentation is a metabolic (chemical) process that breakdown a substance (in this case sugars from the mucilage) by bacteria, yeast and other microorganism typically giving off heat. 

As many of you might be aware, fermentation happens not only in the fermentation tanks of washed coffees but also doing the drying of honey and natural processed coffees. Within the traditional washed coffees you can ferment in many ways, for example in aerobic and anaerobic environments - meaning with and without oxygen. Aerobic fermentations are the most common but some producers have experimented with anaerobic, in oxygen free tanks, or under water, which, we know still contains oxygen but it is disolved, making it a good stepping stone for experiments. 

Each producer in Guatemala has experimented and found a method that works for their coffee in their own, unique environment.Some like to ferment their coffees cherries in bags for up to 24 hours before de pulping, in other farms this would be impossible as the warmer climate would lead to immediate fermentation defect, so they have to de-pulp and wash straight away.  Our main take away is that it is crucial to understand the process and record key factors so that this process can easily be replicated. We recommend producers keep a log of time, temperature, relative humidity and if possible PH readings. 

Consistency is KEY! 
The reason for keeping measurements, is so that the process can be replicated if the results are favorable. This allows the producer to have more control over the quality of their coffee. At our Wet Mill we mostly do aerobic fermentations but have been experimenting with underwater fermentations - this year we processed some beautiful yellow catuais this way, which resulted in sweet and fruity flavors. We hope to replicate this process in the harvests to come. 

Natural and Honey Processing is something really special in Guatemala!  As water becomes scarce around the World; it is only responsible of us to take this into account when producing and processing coffee. Drying coffee with its skin, or taking it off and drying the beans without washing is a wonderful way to create interesting cup profiles while reducing water use. 

This all sounds skeptically easy - but over the last harvests, and after the Q-Processing course, we have learned that in order to make good tasting processes you have to be very careful, consistent and meticulous every step of the way. The importance of first submerging the coffees in water, to clean their dust, homogenize the temperature and lower the bacterial count; to the thin layers on raised beds that need to be moved frequently for even drying and mold prevention, requires a whole new team and training. 
With good processing and an excellent cup - all the efforts are worth it. 
 
It’s important to remember that every farm has its own micro-climate and  unique bacteria. What works at one farm, might not work for its neighbor, let alone someone in another region or country. It is important to be careful, only changing one variable at a time and always taking any (and all) advice with cautionary measures.  

The great thing is that every year, every harvest, there is something new to learn! 


FRESH HARVEST IS ALMOST HERE!

59d58ab1-afcd-4ca0-8d86-dd015ab326a5.jpg

Our first shipments from the 2019 harvest are landing this week! 
We have many amazing coffees on offer for you, from bigger lots to smaller micro-lots; from approachable flavor profiles to crazy fruit bombs. 
Have a look at our first list here and let us know if you would like to get roasted or green samples.

Fresh crop Guatemala is here!

ezgif.com-crop.gif

It’s that time of year when Guatemalan coffee lovers are getting their hands on the new crop. As our fresh coffees land, we are now taking reservations on coffees that are afloat or about to sail.

Don’t miss out!

It is also great for reserving coffees that you will need at future dates, say an espresso component or a filter coffee for Autumn.
 

RESERVING COFFEE IS FREE OF CHARGE


We offer a complementary 3-month storage and financing on the reservations. If you need longer, please let us know and we sill charge a small sum per kg for the service.  The coffee is invoiced once you request release/delivery.

**Note that the reservations are a legal obligation to purchase the coffee at a set future date**

If you are looking for some great Guateman(s), let us know how we could help you to find the right fit!


ALTHOUGH WE'RE SCATTERED ALL OVER GUATEMALA & EUROPE, WE'RE STILL ONE TEAM TRYING TO GET THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COFFEES TO YOU AND THEREBY CONNECT PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD.

ALTHOUGH WE'RE SCATTERED ALL OVER GUATEMALA & EUROPE, WE'RE STILL ONE TEAM TRYING TO GET THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COFFEES TO YOU AND THEREBY CONNECT PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD.

First coffees have sailed

After a few weeks of resting in parchment at our Guatemalan Warehouse, the first coffees from this harvest have been milled and are sailing this week!

These are coffees picked during the first half of February and rested for 6 - 8 weeks in parchment for humidity to homogenize. 


With the first coffees sailing in the coming weeks, we have now prepared a preliminary offer list! This is the first chance for you to see the new coffees and producers we have been working with this year. Let us know if you see something you might fancy and we'd be happy send samples and/or take reservations.

Keep in mind that this is not our final list of coffees - we will be updating this list as more containers are ready to be shipped so make sure you visit us frequently. If you are looking for something in particular, or have a strong inclination toward a coffee please get in touch with us! 

We expect all coffees to land in Europe from May to July 2019

DSC_0821.jpg

Join us at Helsinki Coffee Festival 12-14.4

559430c4-0972-4555-a324-9a2bb7b05046.png

We are excited to be part of one of the biggest coffee events in Scandinavia taking place next week in Finland - Helsinki Coffee Festival 12-14.4!

Our own Finnish Hanna will be there hosting cuppings on the industry day on Friday. These are the very first cuppings in Scandinavia of our coffees from the current harvest, so you do not want to miss out on these cuppings! 


You will find us at our stand in the village on the ground floor at Kaapelitehdas, the cultural centre located in Ruoholahti, Helsinki.

Hanna will also be around in Northern Europe for the next couple of weeks so if you'd like to talk with her in person, let her know.

In Guatemala, we are now going towards the end of the harvest with last cherries being picked at the highest altitudes. Our warehouses are entirely full and we have started to dry-mill our first coffees. We are looking at the first coffees to land in Europe at the end of May - and we are very excited to share these coffees with you!

What:
 Helsinki Coffee Festival
Where: Coffee Village, Kaapelitehdas, Ruoholahti, Helsinki, Finland
When: Friday till Sunday 12-14.4. Industry Day on Friday
What's on: Friday: Cuppings at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm. Welcome!
Saturday and Sunday mornings: Say hi to Hanna at our stand.
Saturday and Sunday afternoons: Enjoy coffees from our roasting friends in Finland.

See you in Helsinki!

Psstt. We have a couple of tickets up in our sleeve for the festival so let us know if you're in a need of one.

Join us at the London Coffee Festival

f44d880c-e126-49f2-bfa6-f9acdc05c094.png

Come visit us at Stand G45 on the Ground Floor! 

Take a break from the Coffee Masters and come say HI to Hanna and Stijn, who have spent the harvest in Guatemala! They will be sharing their experience, new coffees and answering any questions about the country, the culture and its coffee! 

dbeab037-23a7-478d-839c-3d6dab0326af.jpeg

The Harvest in Guatemala is Long - and  some of our producers are still picking and processing their coffee and we keep receiving cherry at our Wet Mill. 

Be the fist to cup our Harvest 2019 by visiting us on STAND G45

THURSDAY 28.3. & FRIDAY 29.3. CUPPING SCHEDULE
- 11.00 Selection from 2019 Harvest
- 13.00 Selection from 2019 Harvest
- 15.00 Selection from 2019 Harvest


What's on

Thursday and Friday: Harvest 2019 Preview Cuppings! Come and taste the new coffees! 
Saturday and Sunday: Enjoy the coffees from our friends Method Coffee Roasters and other roasters - who will be taking over our booth for the weekend. We will be around in the show as well, and if you would like to set up a chat - please send us an email. 


You can apply for complimentary industry day (Thursday and Friday) tickets for the festival here.

See you in London!

Huehuetenango is something special

b2aae570-e9d7-4255-a6e4-0508e4b99272.jpg

At the peak of the harvest, we bring you an update! 
We have cupped over 1000 offer samples, visited some amazing producers, their plantations and wet mills. We thank all the roasters who have visited us this harvest! 

Our Wet mill has been in full swing for over a month - receiving and processing over 400 bags of cherry every day from various Associations and Groups of producers in Fraijanes and Nuevo Oriente. 

And finally, our dry mill is almost ready with a brand new Electronic Color sorter for Micro lots - the Delta mini sorter!  This will help us sort the beautiful coffees in a better and more efficient way.

6c1b6b94-f71f-4e5f-aca2-c46203e9cf61.jpg

Huehuetenango, or “Huehue” as we often call it,  is a coffee growing region located in North Western Guatemala. This mountainous region is well suited for growing coffee due to the high altitudes and micro climates. Only in Huehuetenango, 20,000 families are registered with the coffee producer organisation Anacafe. Almost all of them have their won wet mill, which makes Huehue one of the places with most wet-mills. Huehue produces apron. 1 million quintales (100 pounds) of parchment every year which makes it the second biggest coffee region by production in Guatemala. 

Due to the mountainous landscape the climate in Huehue is perfect for coffee growing. The temperature drops at night and warms up during the day.  Additionally to the climate the farms are typically located in high altitudes, from 1500 mts. up to 2000 mts. above sea-level.

What makes Huehuetenango so great is the large range of producers and farming styles. Many of the farms have kept the classic varieties like caturra, bourbon and catuaí  and the new generation of producers are open to changes and improvements in their farms, and mills. 

Some producers have even started to experiment with alternative processing methods like naturals and honeys. We forecast there to be more naturals and honeys being processed here in the future not only because of their amazing flavour but also because of their lower water usage, making it a more sustainable processing alternative. 

Year on year, we are reassured by the amazing cup quality that Huehuetenango has, making it a region we love, cherish and focus on. Our two full-time agronomists (coffee producers themselves) José and Rodolfo don’t only manage our warehouse in Huehue but also go around the area to share their knowledge with all other coffee producers. They provide support and information for processing and varieties, sustainable farming as well as off-season farm management. 

This year we will again bring you many beautiful coffees from various producers of Huehue! There are a couple of different flavors profiles found in Huehuetenango, one being sweeter and balanced and one being floral, complex, tomatoey (yes believe it or not!) and tropical fruity. These really are coffees we are excited about and can’t wait to share them with you in just a couple of months!


OUR OWN WET- AND DRY-MILL AT EL HATO

abbb4182-6803-486f-b045-e534961c9f7d.jpg

Our very own wet-mill in Finca El Hato, Santa Rosa has been receiving a lot of amazing cherries to process in the past month. We have seen Yellow Catuaís being processed as honeys (we are also making some naturals for you funky fruit lovers) and many other beautiful washed lots we are excited to share with you! 

Our dry-mill almost ready to get the parchment off your coffee  We are installing a new electronic color sorter at our mill which makes our milling even more efficient and precise. We are very close to the start of exporting season,  so stay tuned for the offer list from the 2019 harvest!