Jake McFarland

Role at B&W
Retail Director

Montgomery, Alabama

What drew you to Barista?

Competition showcases innovation. I’m drawn to it because it shows the cutting edge of what is possible in our cafes. It’s where the thought-leaders on this end of coffee’s lifespan get to promote the innovation happening at origin and everywhere in between. I’m honored to be a small part of that conversation.

tell us a little about your coffee

Jhonatan Gasca - Thermal Shock Pacamara

Origin: Bruselas, Huila, Colombia
Farm: Zarza
Producer: Jhonatan Gasca Serna
Process: Double Anaerobic Thermal Shock

After being picked at peak ripeness, the coffee cherries are placed in 200-liter tanks with water, where floaters and other impurities are removed. The water is then drained, and a second round of quality sorting (by hand) ensues. The cherries are left to oxidize for 48 hours in open bags, giving them time to warm up and thus enhancing both sweetness and fruit flavors. After two days, the bags are closed to prepare the cherries for 150 hours of anaerobic fermentation. During this time, the sugar present in the still-intact mucilage interacts with lactic acid bacteria and microorganisms in the fermentation environment, further intensifying those fruity flavors. This second round of fermentation abruptly ends when the cherries are "quenched:" a specific method of cooling down coffee cherries, wherein first hot (50 degrees Celsius) and then cold (20 degrees Celsius) water is used to wash the cherries, eliminating the microbial load and opening the pores in the bean (with the hot water) before rapidly sealing them (with the cold water), locking in all of those delicious fruit flavors. Finally, the cherries are spread out two dry on African beds for two weeks, being closely monitored for humidity.

Why this coffee?
This coffee didn't taste like any of the washed coffees or pacamara coffees that I have had in my life. I was also inspired by the control in fermentation the the Gasca brothers exercised over this coffee.

What story are you telling?

I want to use controls to subvert expectations. This coffee blew away an expectations or preconceived notions that I had about it and I want to really embrace that message.

I also want to acknowledge and celebrate producer lead innovation, like the kind involved in the fermentation process of this coffee.

How do you feel about competition this year?

With this being my second year competing, I’m excited to continue developing the friendships that were started last year. Since there’s one qualifying event this year, we have the opportunity to all be together twice in one season – giving me twice the inspiration and desire to be in the competition space.

What's your signature beverage?

A Mai Thai inspired drink:

- Espresso
- Pineapple Juice
- Coconut Cream
- Coconut Powder
- A drop of Isoamyl acetate (shout out to Bond Brothers for the inspiration with this)