If this insight were to consist of just one sentence, that’d be:
We believe fermentation techniques are more about adding a pleasant and interesting layer to the inherent coffee’s character, not covering the majority of its natural, environmentally-linked identity.
But here’s a little more about the subject.
The trend for heavily fermented coffees has been going strong for a couple of years now. Although we’re not big fans of a cup of coffee that tastes overwhelmingly funky and acetic, at the end of the day we’re truly happy that the producers have found a way to increase the value of their raw material. More of them have approached the international market. Funky coffees tend to sell better and for higher prices overall and that’s really good for coffee growers.
But it doesn’t change the fact that many coffees with “funky / anaerobic / experimental” and similar labels of marketing we’ve been trying from several origins lately were kinda one-dimensional, harsh and what’s also pretty important – remarkably similar to each other.When we come across cups with clear associations of, say, acetic acid, rotten fruit, soy sauce or booze, we try to avoid buying the lots. It’s not only we loose excitement, being unable to taste the coffee’s sensorial heritage. Such coffees often demonstrate instability and a relatively rapid rate of aging / fading process.
We love naturals or anaerobics with enhanced brightness, depth and vibrancy though. Being aware of the demand for fermented coffees, we always try to source these skilfully and knowingly processed ones, showcasing, along with the funky flavors, their terroir in the best possible way!
Our Roasting Tips are brought to you by Piotr Jeżewski (88 Graines Q Grader & Sourcing Director)