Mexico Innovation Extended Fermentation with Yeast

Apple, toffee, chocolate, biscuit
Log in to view price
Bag Weight 69 KG BAG
Harvest Season 2020/21
Status Spot
Lot Number P8001344-1
  • 3 Bag(s)
Log In To Buy / Sample

About This Coffee

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

The climate of the region around the town of Huatusco de Chicuellar is perfect for growing coffee, but peculiar in that it rains often and is cold at night. This can make fermenting and drying coffee complicated, which is why farmers tend to sell coffee in cherry. For Gerardo Sampieri and his brother, who have always been coffee farmers, the rugged mountain region around Huatusco is home. Bernardo 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 proud of the high certification score.

Origin Mexico
Subregion Huatusco, Veracruz, México
Harvest Season 2020/21
Producer Type Small Holder Farmers
Processing Washed
Processing Description Washed with extended fermentation including added yeast starter culture
Growing Altitude >1400m
Plant Species Arabica
Variety Colombia, Costa Rica
Coffee Grade MEX CA WA SHG
Bag Weight 69 KG BAG

The Region

Huatusco is located in the central highlands of Veracruz where breathtaking mountain views are the norm. When coffee first came to Mexico from the Caribbean, it was planted in Veracruz. The combination of cool, high altitudes and a verdant subtropical climate are ideal for growing coffee.

Coffee production is among the most important activities in the region, with a long history that includes a festival at the conclusion of harvest known as La Viuda Del Café, “Coffee’s Widow,” named for the loneliness of the coffee plants following harvest. It is said that the coffee plants are in mourning until “courted” again during the next harvest. The celebrants wear crowns made from the leaves of coffee plants and prepare traditional foods. Tradition holds that the festival must take place to ensure a good harvest the following year.

The Process

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.

  • Status Spot
  • Subregion Huatusco, Veracruz, México
  • Producer Type Small Holder Farmers
  • Processing Washed
  • Processing Description Washed with extended fermentation including added yeast starter culture
  • Plant Species Arabica
  • Variety Colombia, Costa Rica
  • Coffee Grade MEX CA WA SHG
  • Growing Altitude >1400m
  • Origin Mexico
  • Warehouse Vollers Group Uk
  • On Sale No
  • Top Lot No
  • CTRM Contract Number P8001344-1
  • Price Per Kg £6.50