COSTA RICA - Anaerobic "Thermic Shock" - Cordillera del Fuego - #23
Cinnamon, nutmeg, dates, ginger, orange, brandy, plum
- Process: Honey Anaerobic Thermic Shock
- Producer: Fernando Cordero
- Altitude: 1700 m
- Environment: Volcanic
- Species: Arabica
- Varietal: Blend of varieties
- Harvest period: January to March
- Harvest type: Manual
- Drying: Patios
Before 2001 in Costa Rica, all producers delivered their cherries to large industrial cooperatives. They controlled the agricultural part of the chain, but after the harvest they lost all control over their production. After 2001, things changed. Two precursors, the finca La Candelia and the Barrantes family (Cafetalera Herbazu) built a micro mill, the first independent one in Costa Rica. They opened the way to greater independence for producers, as they were finally able to process their products themselves. Cordillera del Fuego is the name of this independent micro mill, located in the western valley, Tarrazu area. This private beneficio, managed by 2 partners, produces about 8000 bags/year. Luis Campos has been a pioneer of new coffee preparation processes. Even if today anaerobic and thermal processes are in vogue, at the time, embarking on this new path represented a major risk as this type of coffee was brand new on the market.
Luis Campos accompanies the producers in these processes in the beneficio Cordillera del Fuego for highly differentiated coffees. This represents about 25 microlots per year.
WHAT'S A THERMIC FERMENTATION?
Its name comes from the fact that the coffee begins its fermentation process by being shocked at high temperature (around 70 degrees) for a short period of time and at high pressure in order to caramelise the sugars in the mucilage. This process takes place in heat and pressure resistant stainless steel tanks. The mucilage (the pulp of the cherries), which is a residue of the fully washed and semi-washed processes, is collected by the pulper. It is mainly composed of sugars and pectic substances and is the basis of the fermentation process. This substance, also called GEL, is added to the microlot of coffee to be fermented (in addition to its own mucilage) and it is this combination of the two (mucilage + coffee) that is heated to 70 degrees. The beans then undergo a longer (84 hours) gentler fermentation period so that these caramelised aromas penetrate the heart of the bean. The result of this process reveals very specific flavours with a very particular cinnamon profile.