Region: Palestina, Huila
Farm: El Mirador
Process: Koji + Natural
Altitude: 1,550-1,750 MASL
Flavor Notes: Saison Beer // Kumquat Jelly // Cacao Juice // Rose Buds
We are pleased to present our award winning Colombian coffee by Elkin Guzman, a Tabi varietal processed using both the Koji and Natural processes! This coffee won a bronze medal in the category of Chain-Store Filter coffee at the 2023 Golden Bean Competition. Below is some information from the producer:
In the world of differentiated coffees, we have been experimenting and evaluating variables that help to improve the quality of the coffees that we handle in order to offer an excellent beverage to our clients for more than 13 years. The area of the farm is 31 hectares, where we have sandy-loam and clay-loam soils with good conditions of organic matter that help to provide excellent nutrition to our coffee plants. Our coffee cultivation is managed under semi-shade systems to optimize the regulation of temperature and the effect of photosynthesis in our coffee plants. The processes that we have established are NATURAL-WASHED-HONEY-FREZZER, Koji, which we handle according to average Brix degrees for processing of 20° with an acceptance on a ripening scale of 90% ripe beans. We have pH evaluations for final fermentation ranges that depend on the temperature of the mass and ambient temperature.
This process took a year of experimenting to understand, as it involves the inoculation of a fungus, scientifically known as Asperigillus oryzae and is widely used in Japanese cuisine, I found it very interesting when I heard about it from the barista Kaapo Paavolainen and read some presentations by Christopher Feran, who have been pioneers in this process, from there we became motivated to implement this method in the processes of our farm. After understanding the behavior of this fungus, we managed to get some strains in Asia where we reproduce it every time we use the Koji process. 50 grams of the original strain is taken to inoculate 500 grams
of natural rice prepared by steaming without salt or oil in a process that takes us 36 hours to achieve Koji reproduction.
For this natural process, the coffee is oxidized for 24 hours, a process that occurs when the coffee is left in a receiving hopper, where loss of water from the coffee and an increase in sugar in the bean occurs due to transfer from the mucilage. After this, the coffee is placed in bins where it is inoculated with the Koji sample, it is applied in layers and left uncovered for 60 hours.
Our drying process is designed to create consistency, longer shelf life and sensory quality. We have a drying area where air flow and air exchange is allowed, improving the humidity of the environment and water extraction, allowing an average temperature of 35-40 ̊C degrees. The coffee is left in thin layers and reinforced with another inoculation of Koji, then left to rest for 4 days. It is then moved 4 times a day regardless of weather. We aim to have a drying time between 18 to 25 days with a drying humidity between 10 to 11%.
These processes are the result of research and tests that we have conducted for years to consolidate our protocols and thus give consistency to the coffee. Thanks to this process we achieve fruitier coffees with high expressions of fragrance. My motivation has been innovation and the continuous improvement of our processes, we work locally, but thinking globally. The industry is more demanding and competitive every day, and we are at the forefront: meeting our clients' needs, satisfying the taste of the markets, paying attention to detail and guaranteeing the quality of our processes.