Brandywine X Black & White - Curious Coffee Magic
It may be April Fool's Day, but this coffee is no joke! We've teamed up with our buddies at Brandywine Coffee Roasters to bring you a really special, really delicious coffee collaboration. Here's what happened: we each roasted a co-fermented lot coming from renown Colombian producer Rodrigo Sanchez's farm (more on him later!), and then we blended those two lots together. The kind folks at Brandywine roasted a lime-and-mint co-fermented Caturra lot (did someone say, mojitos??) while we contributed the beloved kumquat co-fermented Caturra.
With this limited release, we're tipping our hats to the craft beer industry by highlighting the reality that we're part of a larger community through collaboration. You'll be seeing more of these special releases throughout the year, but for now... run, don't walk - you'd be a fool to miss this one.
Meet the Producer | Rodrigo Sanchez Valencia is a third-generation coffee farmer, but his father and grandfather before him had never considered the coffee they were growing in terms of its cup profile. That is to say, they didn't really know that their farming and processing techniques could have a huge impact on the flavor and quality of the coffees they were producing. UNTIL. In 2002, Rodrigo participated in a local program that sought to communicate cupping, coffee competitions, and lot scoring to children of coffee producers. With this newfound understanding and a profound desire to produce high-quality coffee consistently, Rodrigo and his family set off on a mission to re-imagine the work they'd been doing at Finca Monteblanco, and the coffees coming from that farm today are a testament to their rigorous persistence in that endeavor.
Trust the Process | Co-fermentation at Finca Monteblanco is serious business - like, high school AP Chemistry class-serious.These unique infusion processes begin with 190 hours of fermentation - not of the coffee cherries, but of the mother culture which is created on Rodrigo's farm, using micro-organisms derived from his own coffee trees. During those 190 hours, 80 liters of the indigenous mother culture is fed a mixture of the infusion ingredients and a sweetener, like molasses. The infusion ingredients contribute flavor while the sweetener increases the sugar content of the culture and fuels the fermentation process.
Upon reaching the wet mill at the top of the farm, the coffee cherries picked for this unique process are measured for sugar content and then floated to remove lower-density beans. Then, the cherries are pulped before being placed in a 200-liter sealed tank, where they get to mingle with that infused mother culture for 180 hours. Once the party is over, the cherries are removed to dry in direct sunlight for the first 2-3 days, finishing that drying process under shaded canopies for an additional 15-18 days, or until 10-11% humidity is achieved.
Take a Sip | Sometimes, co-fermented coffees can come off as a little one-dimensional. But sometimes, they simply blow us away. These two lots, so carefully monitored, planned, and managed at each stage of production by Rodrigo and his team, are wonderfully complex on their own. When blended together, they make a really, really great team - just like us and Brandywine! This coffee is floral on the nose and in the cup, and it's both sweet and citric in a way that reminds us of orange creamsicles. There's a nod to fleshy stone fruits, like peach tea - and the mint note from the infusion process prevails as well! The whole experience reminds us of enjoying things like tea and popsicles and - yes! - mojitos, with our friends on a front porch in the Spring - which is a pretty fitting visual for this collaborative release, if you ask us.
Origin | La Tocora, San Adolfo, Huila, Colombia
Producer | Rodrigo Sanchez Valencia
Farm | Finca Monteblanco
Process | Mixed co-fermentation
Variety | Caturra
Elevation | 1730 masl