Happy Birthday - Supernatural
Each year in September, we curate a very special birthday blend to celebrate the year we've had and to say, "Thanks!" for being such a huge part of it. Consider this bag a love letter to you, our patrons and our cheerleaders.
This year, we decided it was high time to "dance with the one that brought ya." Since the very inception of Black & White six years ago, we've been known for showcasing excellence in specialty coffee processing, and that all began with our obsession with naturally processed coffees. From crazy yeast inoculations to astonishingly long anaerobic fermentation times, we love nothing more than a cupping table full of expertly and experimentally processed naturals. This blend is our ode to that processing method in all of its forms, as well as to the talented coffee producers who are championing natural processing experiments all over the coffee-growing world.
MEET THE PRODUCERS | This natty mash-up is an equal-parts of blend of four coffees from some of our favorite producers in the biz. Three of those four coffees went through some iteration of anaerobic fermentation (more on those party animals in a moment), and the fourth was brought in to really class up the blend and clean things up a bit - a Colombian Chiroso lot from our new friends at Pergamino. This coffee really provides the base for the other three to shine. Elkin Guzman's Catiope lot from Huila is an absolute fruit bomb, with all of the wild flavors and funk factor you might expect from an anaerobic natural. The second AN coffee comes from our longtime friends in the Gamatui community in Sipi Falls, Uganda. We've been purchasing coffee from them for over five years, and this anaerobic natural lot is the most intensely processed lot they've ever done for us! It reminds us of red wine and Concord grapes, with an unexpected passionfruit note turning things up a notch. Finally, the Dara Brothers provided us with an anaerobic natural heirloom lot from Yirgacheffe, and it brings further tropical, fruity, wine-y vibes to the party.
TRUST THE PROCESS | At the risk of sounding very redundant (and potentially insulting your intelligence)... these are all superNATURAL coffees! Some encountered yeast during fermentation (Elkin Guzman) while others did not (Dara Brothers), and some were deprived of oxygen for three days (Gamatui) while others were simply left to bask in sun (Chiroso). What we were really struck by as we were compiling this blend is the incredible diversity and nuance found in natural processing. Methods range from the beautifully simple to the wonderfully complex, and experiencing that range side-by-side-by-side made us fall in love with natural processing all over again.
TAKE A SIP | To be honest, this blend did not turn out the way we expected! With three anaerobic naturals in the mix and plenty of intense, boozy flavors to go around, we expected this blend to be a funky, wild ride. We anticipated that some people would love it, and others would... not so much. However, the coffee we ended up with is a beautiful, tropical expression of natural processing that is stunningly approachable, and we think you'll find there's something for just about every coffee drinker to love in this cup.
It's heavy on the tropical yellow fruits, like mango, papaya, and pineapple - but many of us also encountered plenty of stone fruits as we sipped this coffee, like plums, cherries, and peaches. The second time we cupped it, fresh watermelon entered the chat, which was really exciting because that's a pretty rare flavor call for us! It's more reminiscent of red grapes than red wine, but finer grinds will bring out some of those more intense, wine-like flavors from the Ugandan and Ethiopian components of the blend. Vibrant acidity, like citrus zest, is prevalent throughout. The whole experience is both complex and unique to the person drinking it - though a prevailing opinion around our cupping table is that it's reminiscent of enjoying a tropical fruit cocktail- preferably, at the beach.
Components | Elkin Guzman - Anaerobic Natural | Gamatui - Anaerobic Natural | Dara Brothers - Anaerobic Natural | Chiroso - Natural
Origins | Huila, Colombia | Sipi Falls, Uganda | Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia | Antioquia, Colombia
Producers | Elkin Guzman | Gamatui community | Dara brothers | Santiago Caro
Processes | Various natural processing methods
Variety | Various
Elevation | 1500-1950 masl