Ivan Solis - Candy Natural
ROAST | LIGHT MEDIUM
ORIGIN | SANTA MARIA DE DOTA, TARRAZU, COSTA RICA
NOTES | TART CHERRY, ORANGE PEEL, MANGO, RED SANGRIA
Ivan Solis comes from a storied family background of agricultural workers in Costa Rica. He has worked in the food and beverage production sector for his entire adult life and is making quite a name for himself as an innovative and adventurous processor of specialty coffee in the Tarrazu region! Ivan became a certified Q Grader back in 2009, and he's been obsessed with flavor ever since. After working with two of the largest milling operations in Costa Rica, Ivan began operating his own wet mill, named Santa Fe, back in 2017. It is here that he began experimenting with a new processing method called Candy Natural a couple of years ago. We had the opportunity to bring you one of these such lots from the Santa Fe Wet Mill last year, and we are thrilled to introduce its triumphant return to our menu in 2022.
Processing: "Candy Natural" is the name coined by Ivan for this unique twist on anaerobic processing. During this process, whole coffee cherries undergo dry anaerobic fermentation for four days before being removed to raised beds to dry in the sun. Sounds pretty standard, right? Here's where the twist comes in: after the cherries from one batch are removed, Ivan and his workers take the leftover mosto (the juice created from the fermentation process) and pour that juice, which contains many microorganisms, into the next batch to kickstart the fermentation process. This step, similar to sour mashing in bourbon production, promotes consistency in flavor profiles across various batches of freshly-picked coffee cherries.
In the cup: The result is intense, vibrant, and fun. On the nose, this coffee smells wild and funky, but on the palette, it drinks clean and tropical. The finish is heavy and wine-y, reminding us of red sangria. Fruit flavors abound in this cup - we taste tart cherry, orange peel, and mangoes! All in all, you could say this coffee is middle-of-the-road as far as high-fermentation naturals go.
There's a lot to love about this super-vibrant, beautifully processed lot from the Santa Fe Wet Mill, but perhaps our favorite thing is its ability to transport us somewhere tropical and warm as the weather continues to cool here in sweet Carolina.
Farmers | Ronald Madregal Monge and Joaquin Solis
Washing Station | Santa Fe Wet Mill, owned and operated by Ivan Solis
Process | Candy Natural
Variety | Catuai
Elevation | 1500 - 1900 masl