Producer — Mauricio Shattah
Region — Villa Restrepo, Tolima, western Colombia
Varietal — Sidra
Terroir — 1800-2350 masl, cool tropical climate
Process — Nitrogen-Flushed Natural
This is the coffee Assembly Head Roaster Claire Wallace will take to the World Barista Championship in Melbourne in September 2022.
Claire's presentation as she won the UK Barista Championship earlier this year focused on the role fermentation can play in enhancing the flavour profile of coffee, and this theme will be further developed by her in Australia.
This coffee is the result of a multi-stage post-harvest process during which nitrogen was twice used to remove unwanted by-products of temperature-controlled fermentation. The result is a profile of heightened complexity without losing any of the balance associated with high-quality coffee.
Finca La Negrita
Two-hundred kilometres west of Bogota, Mauricio Shattah's Finca La Negrita sits high up in the canyon of the Combeima River. It’s here where cool winds race down the Nevado del Ruiz volcano to the north and meet the warm breeze rising from the Magdalena river valley to the east. The result? A permanent morning dew. An eternal spring.
This microclimate, its plentiful natural springs and rich volcanic soil was exactly the environment Mauricio was searching for. A qualified oncologist with twenty years of experience and his own practice, in 2014 he diverted from his established career to apply his scientific expertise to coffee farming. And, in particular, post-harvest processing.
This coffee was dried in cherry before being placed in an air-tight tank, to which baking yeast was introduced for a controlled fermentation process. As the yeast interacted with the cherries, it produced CO2. CO2 can negatively affect the compounds within the coffee that influence flavour, so nitrogen was introduced to flush out this unwanted by-product.
A second by-product – carbonic acid – was then removed with another nitrogen flush. It is proposed that using nitrogen to remove unwanted gases and acids results in a flavour profile with notable clarity and excellent balance.
After 48 hours, this Sidra lot was removed from the tanks and dried for seven weeks. A static drying machine was used to finish the drying process, ensuring consistency of moisture content.
We recommend brewing this coffee with a pour over coffee brewer. A flat-bottomed dripper is preferable to reduce the chances of choking while brewing. The coffee should be ground medium to medium-fine, use filtered water at 97 degrees Celsius, and the Assembly pour over method.
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