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Must you brew experimentally processed coffees in a different way?

Within the world specialty espresso market, experimentally processed coffees have gotten more and more well-liked – and for good motive. These coffees can present a spread of distinctive flavours and sensory experiences for customers, together with profiles which frequently aren’t potential with extra conventional processing strategies.

We all know that processing strategies affect roast profiles, which means roasters must tweak some variables in an effort to get the most effective outcomes from experimentally processed coffees. However one other essential query stays – ought to we additionally brew these coffees in numerous methods?

To seek out out, I spoke with three espresso professionals. Learn on to study extra about what they needed to say.

You may additionally like our article on espresso roasting & experimental processing strategies.

What’s experimental processing?

Irrespective of which processing technique is used to course of espresso, it is going to have a big impact on the ultimate cup profile. For farmers, processing is likely one of the most essential steps in espresso manufacturing, and may also add vital worth to espresso.

The three most well-known “conventional” processing strategies are washed, pure, and honey processing. These strategies are utilized by many producers alongside the Bean Belt, and lead to a wide range of totally different flavours and mouthfeels.

Nevertheless, lately, we have now seen increasingly more producers attempt a spread of various experimental processing strategies – however what precisely are they?

Dan Fellows is a two-time World Espresso in Good Spirits Champion and a UK Barista Champion. He additionally runs a espresso cocktail-themed YouTube channel.

“Experimental processing strategies have lots of affect over the ultimate flavour profile and traits of espresso,” he says. “In lots of instances, these strategies borrow from different industries, corresponding to wine and gastronomy.

“In doing so, producers can broaden the flavour potentialities of various espresso varieties and species,” he provides.

A big a part of creating these flavours is by leveraging using fermentation. Irrespective of which processing technique is used, fermentation begins as quickly because the cherry is picked. Nevertheless, lately, increasingly more producers have realised that altering the parameters wherein fermentation happens can create a wider vary of fascinating new flavours.

Sam Corra is the Director of Espresso at ONA Espresso in Sydney, Australia.

“Typically, experimental processing is outlined by smaller batch sizes and are atypical washed, pure, and honey processes,” he tells me. “For instance, anaerobic fermentation is changing into a extra standardised technique.

“These processing strategies often give attention to altering one variable in an effort to perceive its affect on the espresso, or to boost a selected facet of the flavour profile,” he provides. “Experimental processing typically entails many alternative variables, together with fermentation time, temperature, and several types of fermentation.”

A worker stirs coffee beans in a fermentation tank at a small coffee producer in Kasese, District, Uganda.

Several types of experimental espresso processing

Though there are numerous totally different sorts of experimental processing strategies, some strategies have gotten extra distinguished in specialty espresso. 

Cardio and anaerobic fermentation are two of the preferred strategies. They’re each very related, however there’s one predominant distinction between them – the presence of oxygen.

With cardio fermentation, the presence of oxygen means the sugars within the espresso beans ferment extra slowly. Nevertheless, when fermentation takes place in an oxygen-free atmosphere (or anaerobically), fermentation can happen extra shortly.

With anaerobic fermentation, espresso cherries are often sealed inside massive tanks or barrels to create an oxygen-free atmosphere. Coffees could be fermented for wherever from 24 to 96 hours – relying on the specified sensory profile.

Some producers are experimenting with a brand new course of known as “anaerobic impregnation”, which entails putting fruits or different elements into fermentation tanks, which can provide a espresso extra fruity flavours.

One other distinguished technique is carbonic maceration. Dan says this was impressed by an identical method in winemaking, and may typically give espresso a extra “boozy”, wine-like high quality. With carbonic maceration, cherries are positioned in sealed containers, earlier than being flushed by with carbon dioxide.

Malic fermentation, in the meantime, is just like different experimental processing strategies, however the important thing distinction is the introduction of malic acid. It is a flavour compound most related to inexperienced apples, and may present a espresso with a clear, sharp acidity.

One of many latest rising developments in processing is using koji mould as a singular priming agent throughout fermentation. 

Koji mould is often used within the manufacturing of sake and miso in an effort to improve umami flavours. Koji mould is added to the espresso cherries, which helps advanced carbohydrates break down into sugars and dextrins which can be utilized throughout fermentation.

Every experimental processing technique can have its personal distinctive affect on espresso flavour, in the end affecting extraction variables.

Elika Liftee is the Director of Training at Onyx Espresso Lab in Bentonville, Arkansas. He’s additionally the 2022 US Brewers Cup Champion. 

“With experimentally processed coffees, it’s best to anticipate a extra distinguished mouthfeel and an enhanced, extra advanced acidity,” he says. “Nevertheless, over-fermentation may also happen [when these methods are not carried out correctly].

“I believe experimental processing strategies are useful for the specialty espresso business,” he provides.

Sam, in the meantime, tells me how experimental processing strategies can affect espresso high quality. 

“With experimentally processed coffees, it may be tougher to attain them based mostly on readability, mouthfeel, aftertaste, and stability,” he says. “Due to this, some actually high-quality and fascinating coffees can typically rating decrease or greater than they need to.”

Pour over into a gold filter, Revolver Cafe, Cambie Street, Vancouver, Canada

Must you brew these coffees in a different way?

It’s secure to say that no two coffees are the identical, due to this fact no two cups of espresso will likely be brewed in precisely the identical approach. However which elements do we have to keep in mind when brewing experimentally processed coffees?

Fermentation helps to interrupt down sugars, which means they are often extra simply extracted. On account of this, the chance of overextraction can enhance, so we have to take this into consideration with our brewing variables. For instance, whole brew occasions ought to usually be shorter, or we are able to extract these coffees with water at a decrease temperature.

“Typically, anaerobic fermented espresso tends to be extra soluble, so it is going to extract at a sooner fee than different processing strategies,” Elika says. “To cut back the danger of overextraction, I brew experimentally processed coffees with water between 88°C and 93°C (190°F to 200°F).”

Sam explains how decrease temperatures may help to boost sure traits when brewing experimentally processed coffees. 

“Decrease temperatures all through the full brew time permit the juicier and brighter facets of the espresso to shine by,” he says. “Brewing with water which is simply too scorching typically results in extra murky, uninteresting, or undesirable flavours dominating the ultimate outcome. 

“Finally, decrease temperatures used within the last pours of the brew assist to mitigate the extraction of tannins, which might cut back bitterness and dryness,” he provides.

Each Sam and Elika recommend their very own recipes for brewing experimentally processed coffees as pour over:

Elika’s recipe (for use with any brewer)

  • 15g of medium-to-fine floor espresso.
  • 250ml water at 93°C (200°F).

  1. Pour a 50g bloom and anticipate 20 seconds.
  2. At 0:20, pour 50g of water.
  3. At 0:50, aggressively pour 75g of water.
  4. At 1:20, aggressively pour one other 75g of water.
  5. Complete brew time must be between 2:30 and three:00.

Sam’s V60 recipe (two kettle technique)

  • 20g of medium-to-fine floor espresso.
  • First kettle set at 92°C (197°F).
  • Second kettle set at 88°C (190°F).

  1. Pour a 50g bloom and anticipate 35 seconds.
  2. At 0:35, pour 70g of water from the primary kettle.
  3. Between 1:00 and 1:10, pour 60g of water from the second kettle.
  4. Between 1:25 and 1:40, pour 60g of water from the second kettle.
  5. Between 1:45 and a couple of:10, pour 60g of water from the second kettle.
  6. Complete brew time must be round not more than 3:00.
dan fellows' frozen natural experiment signature drink

Alongside filter espresso, experimentally processed coffees have additionally turn out to be more and more well-liked amongst these making high-quality espresso cocktails – together with for the World Espresso in Good Spirits Championship (WCIGS). 

In his profitable 2019 WCIGS routine, Dan ready his drinks utilizing his “Frozen Pure Experiment” cocktail recipe – which makes use of a espresso processed utilizing a method known as “frozen pure processing”.

“This cocktail recipe contains espresso which has undergone a singular processing method known as the frozen pure technique,” he tells me. “Purple Pacamara espresso cherries had been absolutely frozen earlier than present process pure processing, which helped to extend sweetness, physique, and flavour depth in comparison with extra conventional pure processing.”

In his recipe, Dan provides ice wine (which he says impressed the processing technique), blood orange, citrus and floral-flavoured gun, malic acid, and cascara coconut syrup. 

“These elements are then shaken over ice and served in a frozen glass on prime of a cascara aroma cloud,” he explains.

brewing pour over coffee in a stainless steel brewer

There’s little doubt that experimental processing strategies are going to stay well-liked within the espresso business. In flip, baristas and residential brewers want to make sure they’re getting the most effective from these coffees.

“It’s essential that we as baristas, bartenders, and customers, help creativity in processing strategies and make sure that the potential for these coffees continues to develop,” Dan concludes.

Loved this? Then learn our article on carbonic maceration & biodynamic farming: Experimental espresso processing in Panama.

Picture credit: Dan Fellows

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