Brazil Inhame - Carbonic Maceration coffee
Carbonic maceration coffee has significantly grown in popularity over the last few years and is now a term that many coffee drinkers are familiar with. This particular technique is something we learned a lot more about in Costa Rica in 2020 and visited many farms using a wide range of alternative specialist post-harvest coffee processing methods.
The two words mean 'carbon dioxide soaking or softening' and this usually takes place by storing the freshly harvested coffee cherry inside sealed containers for a period of time. These containers are usually fitted with a one-way valve or have some way for gas to be released as they are created. While fermenting, the coffee will release carbon dioxide, which can escape from a one-way valve. Typically this fermentation process takes place for 24-48 hours and creates an environment where the ph will drop, and very interesting and often intense fruit flavours are created.
After the fermentation process, the coffee will be dried just as it would be when producing a traditional natural processed coffee. Carbonic maceration coffees typically showcase intense fruit flavours that can often include tropical fruit notes, high levels of acidity and rich berry notes. The flavour characteristics are affected by varietal, quality of the harvest, temperature and the amount of time chosen to ferment the coffee. Longer fermentation can create more intense flavours and acidity but at the risk of over fermentation and vinegar-like notes. We typically look for carbonic maceration coffee that has been processed to enhance the coffee's natural flavour character with a balance fermentation and interesting fruit notes.
Fazenda Inhame Farm Overview
Brazil Inhame is a small family farm with 28 hectares of coffee trees located near the town of Campos Altos. We were introduced to the farm by Bruno Souza, owner of Academia do Cafe, a Q Grader, coffee farmer, and one of the most experienced coffee professionals in Brazil.
The farm is owned by Marco Aurelio and is managed in partnership with his son Bruno (an agronomist). They have a strong environmental focus concentrating on the preservation of local water sources and indigenous fauna and flora.
Our Brazil Inhame natural is available as a single origin coffee and is often found in our blends. This micro-lot from the farm is very different and has been produced as a small micro lot by using the carbonic maceration method. The coffee was very carefully sorted after harvest and fermented for 48 hours in sealed containers seen below:
This is a stunning coffee with a very different flavour profile created by using controlled fermentation to increase intense fruit notes. This is a coffee with a rich body and gentle fermented fruit notes that remind us of Port wine and red grape.
João Batista da Cunha Sobrinho Farm Overview
Joao Batista owns a farm called Lagoa dos Estulanos located in the municipality Carmo do Paranaiba at an altitude of 1100masl. He focuses on producing a wide range of different coffees including some experimental process microlots.
We selected a coffee harvested from Catuai trees and processed as a carbonic maceration natural. The results are stunning and this is a coffee with wonderful fruit flavours and a rich full body. Tasting notes are very similar to the Inhame cabonic maceration and include port wine and red grade.