Breaking the Mold: Experimental Coffee Processes You Need to Try

Are you tired of the same old coffee flavors? Do you crave something new and exciting to tantalize your taste buds? Well, you’re in luck because new experimental coffee processing methods are being developed that promise to deliver unique and delicious flavors.

From anaerobic fermentation to wine yeast fermentation, coffee producers are using experimental coffee processes to push the boundaries of traditional processing techniques to create something exceptional.

Key Takeaways

  • Unique Fermentation: New methods like Carbonic Maceration and Lactic Process are being used for anaerobic fermentation, producing distinct flavors in coffee.
  • Experimental Techniques: Farms are experimenting with processes like flavor-infused fermentation and extended cherry fermentation, enhancing fruity and spicy notes in coffee.
  • Advanced Drying Methods: Techniques like raised bed drying and double soaking are employed to improve coffee quality, resulting in rich and complex flavors.
  • Eco-Friendly Decaffeination: The Mountain Water Process Decaf uses natural water for decaffeination, maintaining flavor integrity and supporting sustainability.

Experimental Coffee Processes

Finca Villa Loyola’s Carbonic Maceration Process

First, let’s define what Carbonic Maceration is. It’s a fermentation method where coffee cherries are placed in an airtight tank filled with carbon dioxide. The lack of oxygen triggers anaerobic fermentation, which results in unique flavor profiles.

At Finca Villa Loyola, they use this process to create their signature light roast with notes of blackberry compote and clove. The coffee cherries are grown at an altitude of 1878 MASL and harvested by hand. They are then sorted and placed in tanks for 72 hours.

During this time, the carbon dioxide replaces the oxygen inside the tanks, creating an environment that encourages fermentation. The cherries are then removed from the tanks and dried on raised beds for up to 20 days.

The result is a coffee that is crisp, sweet, and subtly multi-layered. It’s no wonder that PT’s Coffee Roasting Co., which roasts Finca Villa Loyola’s beans, has received rave reviews for this unique offering.


Experimental Coffee Processes

La Palma y El Tucán’s Lactic Process

La Palma y El Tucán is a Colombian coffee farm that has gained worldwide recognition for its innovative and unique approach to coffee processing. One of their most notable techniques is the Lactic Process, which involves using lactic acid bacteria to ferment the coffee cherries.

The coffee cherries are carefully selected and sorted during the Lactic Process before being placed in a sealed tank with water. Lactic acid bacteria are then added to the tank, which kickstarts the fermentation process. Unlike traditional fermentation methods, where oxygen plays a crucial role in breaking down sugars and creating flavor compounds, the Lactic Process is anaerobic, meaning that oxygen has minimal interaction with the coffee cherry.

As the bacteria consume the sugars in the cherry, they produce lactic acid and other organic acids that give La Palma y El Tucán’s coffees their unique flavor profile. The length of fermentation time can vary depending on factors such as temperature and humidity but typically lasts between 24-48 hours.

Once fermentation is complete, the coffee cherries are washed and dried before being roasted to perfection. The result is a cup of coffee with complex flavors and aromas, unlike anything you’ve ever tasted.

La Palma y El Tucán’s commitment to innovation and sustainability has made them one of the most respected names in specialty coffee. Their Lactic process is just one example of how they’re pushing boundaries and redefining what’s possible in the world of coffee.


Experimental Coffee Processes

Finca Kilimanjaro’s Experimental Processes

This El Salvadorian coffee farm is known for its innovative and unique production methods. At Finca Kilimanjaro, they use various processing techniques to bring out the best flavors and aromas in their coffee beans. One of their most popular methods is the carbonic maceration process, developed initially in the Beaujolais region of France for winemaking. In this process, the coffee cherries are placed in a sealed tank filled with carbon dioxide gas. The pressure and lack of oxygen cause a chemical reaction that enhances the fruity flavors in the beans.

Another experimental method used by Finca Kilimanjaro is flavor-infused fermentation. In this process, natural flavors like orange or vanilla are added to the water used to ferment the coffee beans. The result is a unique and delicious cup of coffee with hints of fruit or spice.

Finca Kilimanjaro also uses wet fermentation, which involves soaking the beans in water to remove the outer layers before drying them. This method helps eliminate unwanted flavors or aromas from the beans and produces a clean and crisp taste.

Overall, Finca Kilimanjaro’s experimental processes of coffee processing are all about innovation and creativity. They produce some of the most unique and flavorful coffees by using different techniques like carbonic maceration, flavor-infused fermentation, and wet fermentation.


Experimental Coffee Processes

PT’s Haraaz Special Red drying on raised bedsHaraaz Special Preparation

The Haraaz Special Preparation method of processing coffee involves drying the cherries on raised beds. This process ensures that the coffee beans are of the highest quality and have a distinct flavor profile.

First, the cherries are carefully hand-picked from the trees when they are perfectly ripe. Then, they are sorted to remove any damaged or unripe cherries. Once sorted, the cherries are placed on raised beds to dry in the sun.

The raised beds used for drying the cherries provide better airflow and drainage than traditional rooftop drying methods. This results in a more even and consistent drying process, which helps to prevent mold and other defects from forming on the beans.

After several weeks of drying on the raised beds, the cherries are milled in Sana’a. The lots are fully traceable through producer ID cards, ensuring each batch is traceable back to its origin.

The result is a rich and complex flavor profile that boasts chocolate, fruit, and spice notes. No wonder this coffee has gained such popularity among coffee enthusiasts worldwide!


Mountain Water Process Decaf

This unique decaffeination method uses pure water from the highest mountain peaks to gently remove caffeine from coffee beans while preserving their natural flavors and oils.

The Mountain Water Process begins with high-quality green coffee beans soaked in hot water to extract caffeine. But unlike other decaf methods that use harsh chemicals, Mountain Water Process relies solely on the power of water. The water then passes through a filter that captures the caffeine molecules, leaving behind a batch of delicious decaf coffee beans.

One of the benefits of Mountain Water Process Decaf is that it retains much of the original flavor and aroma of the coffee beans. This is because the process doesn’t strip away all the oils and compounds that give coffee its unique taste profile. So even though it’s decaf, you can still enjoy a rich and satisfying cup of coffee.

Another advantage of Mountain Water Process Decaf is that it’s a more natural and environmentally friendly method compared to some other decaf processes. No harsh chemicals are involved, and the water used in the process comes from sustainable sources.

So next time you’re looking for a delicious cup of decaf coffee, consider trying one made with Mountain Water Process Decaf. You’ll get all the flavor and satisfaction without jitters or sleepless nights!


Experimental Coffee Processes

Finca Las Mercedes La Avila Double-SoakFinca Las Mercedes’ Double-Soak Method

PT’s Coffee Roasting Co. uses this unique process to create their delicious and highly sought-after La Avila coffee.

So, what exactly is the Double-Soak method? It’s a process that involves soaking the coffee beans in water for an extended period of time, not once but twice! The first soak lasts 24 hours, after which the tank is emptied and refilled with fresh water for another 24-hour soak. This process helps to remove any impurities from the beans and allows them to absorb more water, resulting in a richer flavor profile.

The beans used in this process come from Finca Las Mercedes, one of PT’s longest-standing Direct Trade relationships. This family-owned farm has produced high-quality coffee for generations in El Salvador near Santiago de Maria. These unique beans are grown and harvested in the La Avila lot at Finca Las Mercedes.

Once the Double-Soak process is complete, the beans are carefully dried and roasted to perfection by PT’s Coffee Roasting Co. The result is a smooth and approachable light roast with notes of caramel, tangerine, almond brittle, yellow apple, and more.


Honey Coffee Processing Methods

Duncan Estate’s Wine Process

You may have yet to hear of the Duncan Estate in Panama. Known for their high-quality Panamanian Geisha coffee and innovative coffee processing techniques, the Duncan family has produced some of the world’s best coffee for ages. One of their most unique processes is the “wine process,” which involves leaving coffee cherries on the shrub for an extended period to ferment, much like grapes in winemaking.

During this process, ripe coffee cherries are carefully selected and placed in a tank with a small amount of water. The cherries are then left to ferment for up to 48 hours, allowing natural yeasts and bacteria to break down the fruit sugars and create complex flavors. After fermentation, the cherries are washed and dried before being roasted.

The result is a cup of coffee rich with chocolate and fruit notes, elegant and high-toned with a delicate sweetness. This unusual variation on the dry or natural process produces a more uniform and intense cup of coffee that will delight even the most discerning palate.


Experimental Coffee Processes

Final Thoughts

The flavor, richness, and complexity of coffee beans processed through each technique are unparalleled. Each approach brings out unique notes and aromas in the coffee beans, such as caramel, tangerine, almond brittle, yellow apple, chocolate, and fruit.

So why not try them all? Well, only some coffee roasters are willing to invest the time and energy into mastering these processes and sourcing the high-quality beans needed to produce a cup of coffee that stands out from the rest.

But if you find yourself lucky enough to come across any of these rare coffee processes, take the opportunity to savor every sip! You’ll be glad you did. Happy caffeinating!


Frequently Asked Questions

What are washed coffees?

Washed coffees, also known as wet processed coffees, are a type of coffee processing method where the coffee beans are removed from the cherry and then washed with water to remove any remaining fruit or mucilage. This process results in a clean and bright flavor profile.

How is the washed coffee processing method different from natural processed coffees?

Natural processed coffees, also known as dry processed coffees, are dried in the full cherry prior to de-pulping. This process allows for more of the fruit’s sugars to be absorbed by the coffee bean, resulting in a sweeter and fruitier flavor profile compared to washed coffees.

What is the honey process?

The honey process is a hybrid between washed and natural processing methods. In this method, some but not all of the fruit is removed before drying, resulting in a unique flavor profile that combines characteristics of both washed and naturally processed coffees.

How does roast level affect the taste of washed coffee beans?

The roast level can greatly impact the taste of washed coffees. Lighter roasts tend to highlight the acidity and brightness of these beans, while darker roasts can bring out more chocolatey and nutty flavors.

What role does the coffee industry play in promoting sustainable practices for washed coffees?

The coffee industry has been increasingly focused on promoting sustainable practices for all types of coffee production, including washed coffees. This includes initiatives such as fair trade certifications, organic farming practices, and reducing waste throughout the supply chain.

Picture of About the Author Kris Silvey

About the Author Kris Silvey

As a semi-professional at-home barista and full-time software engineer, my love for coffee borders on obsession. By combining my passion for coffee with an engineering mindset, I strive to perfect my brewing process and share that knowledge with each of you.

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