You have just stumbled into an age old debate.
For years now there has been quite the divisive debate about “process”. What do we mean by “process”? Well, there are a few ways to get the coffee seeds (coffee beans) out of the cherries in which they grow and develop.
We call them the Dry Process and Wet Process, and although there are a few other methods, we will focus on those two.
Dry or traditional drying is done by throwing the ripe cherries that have just been picked onto drying grounds or beds where they are left to dry in the sun. The mucilage dries on the seed and imparts its flavors onto the seed itself, in some cases producing a very intense cup of coffee with strong cherry notes. The black, dried cherry is still present on the seed and is later mechanically hulled to remove the remaining skins.
In the Wet process, the cherry is picked and is mechanically de-pulped and then washed, sometimes with a prior short period of fermentation. The cherries are then dried on drying grounds or raised beds.
For the most part the two processes produce very different flavor profiles and there starts the debate.
Some say naturals (dry process) are better in flavor because of the intensity of sweet cherry notes present. Others say washed (wet process) is better because it is the purest representation of variety and terroir.
Now, as an Inner Core member you get to decide!
Here is what we know:
Chimaltenango sits in the shadow of Volcán de Fuego, which erupted earlier this Summer. Our friends kept us informed and thankfully, El Piloncito had no workers on the farm at the time. Apart from ash falling onto the farm they all remain safe and sound.
As to what effect it will have on their crop in the 2018/2019 harvest, that remains to be seen. We believe this is also why our specific lot of coffee was delayed this year. Good things come to those who wait and we are excited to be bringing the Rosales family’s coffee into the US for a 2nd year in a row.
Both Alvin and Deaton have visited the small farm and spent some time walking the property hearing about Gustavo’s plans for the future. He plans to expand his Gesha variety considerably and is excited about the potential of the plants’ quality and prices.
We hope you enjoy El Piloncito this year as much as we are in the roastery.More