Ivan Solis - Candy Natural
MEET THE PRODUCER | 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 Tarrazú 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.
TRUST THE PROCESS | "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.
TAKE A SIP | This is the third appearance on our menu by one of Ivan's Candy Natural lots, and we've gotta say: this one is the most intense expression we've tasted to date! The impact of the fermentation is a little heavy-handed here, resulting in a cup that's reminiscent of snacking on craft dark chocolate while sipping a glass of full-bodied red wine. The fruit flavors that do prevail mingle with sweetness, reminding us of cherry candy. And there's a citric character like pomelo that lingers. This may not be your everyday cup, but it's absolutely perfect for the right occasion - just like a fine French Merlot.
Origin | Santa Maria de Dota, Tarrazú, Costa Rica
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