Over the last ten years we've seen a massive growth in alternative and experimental coffee processing methods. These includes different styles of natural process, interesting washed processed methods, anaerobic fermentation and a new one to us, yeast fermentation.
Our first experience of this is this stunning washed coffee from La Bastill in Jinotega, Nicaragua. La Bastilla is a large Rainforest Alliance certified farm covering 311 hectares with a total of 160 hectares planted for coffee production. The remaining area of the estate is protected forest with a small area set aside for agriculture as part of their own agriculture school.
Harvesting and Processing:
To create this stunning coffee the cherry was hand harvested by pickers selecting only the ripest cherry from the H3 Hybrid trees. These trees were created by crossing Caturra with Ethiopian landrance in an effort to increase genetic diversity. It produces very good quality cherry at high altitude. You can read more on the World Coffee Research website.
After harvesting the coffee was pulped to remove fruit and defects and then fermented in sealed bins with a specific strain of yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) made by Lallemand.
Yeast is always present in coffee fermentation but using a specific strain in a controlled environment creates a unique flavour characteristic and in this case it tasted like pineapple, rum and coconut. The yeast fermentation resulted in alcohol like flavours that we don't often experience in washed coffees. And, it wasn't the typical wine like flavours that we often see in naturals but a clean, crip alcohol note more like a fine white rum or whiskey.
If you managed to grab a bag of this incredible coffee we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did and hopefully it will be back at some point in the future.