JUNE 2024 - Keep Experimenting, We'll Keep Cupping

June 2024’s Coffee Origin
Brazil Lussara - Red Icatu - Carbonic Maceration

Region: Alta Mogiana, Sao Paulo
Varietals: Red Icatu, Red Catuai
Growing Elevation: 3600+ feet
Process: Natural Process, Carbonic Maceration & Patio Dried
Flavour Profile and Notes: GO CUP YOURSELF and find out!

This Month's Coffee Selection
For over 200 years coffee farming has been a part of the culture in Alta Mogiana. Located in the state of São Paulo, Brazil the climate averages 20 degrees Celsius with ideal rainfall for coffee farming, while the topography offers altitudes of 2900 plus feet above sea level. The result is slow growing coffee cherries with ample time ripen.

Coffee cherries from this lot were sealed in airtight barrels that had carbon dioxide pumped in. This carbon dioxide rich environment creates the environment for Carbonic Maceration which we will discus in this blog posting. The gases and juices that are released from the cherries during the fermentation process are contained in the barrels and absorbed by the coffee parchment. The coffee is then washed and dried before export. The resulting coffee offers a winey, fruit forward cupping profile.

What do wine and coffee have in common? .
..Probably more than you think, but let discuss one specific fermentation process for now!
We've discussed fermentation and its importance in coffee in previous posts as well as how different fermentation processes can have drastic effects on each flavour profile.  As a recap, the coffee fermentation we are referring to is an "enzyme catalysed" process, where microorganisms convert starch and sugar from the fruit to alcohol or acid in the absence of oxygen. This is done with the intention of removing the coffee cherry from the stone (or what is to become the coffee bean), while enhancing the potential flavours found in the resulting coffee.  While I'm definitely oversimplifying and butchering the science involved, this is more than enough information for our purposes.

Now that you have a basic understanding of fermentation and why it is used, lets discus the specific process we are cupping today, Carbonic Maceration. 

By definition, to "macerate" is to soften by soaking and "carbonic" is derived from carbon dioxide in this case. So, together Carbonic Maceration is the softening of the fruit in a carbon dioxide rich environment. Carbonic Maceration has been used in wine making since the mid-late 1930's and entered the coffee scene in 2015 (when this experimentally processed coffee won a Barista Championship).

Carbonic Maceration involves fermenting complete coffee cherries in airtight containers that have carbon dioxide added. This creates an environment where the coffee cherries break down from the inside out, essentially infusing the stones with components that will stay in the bean. The cherries can then be washed and dried and prepared for coffee roasters. Similar to anaerobic processes that we've cupped, the resulting coffees can hold wine style notes as well as highly fruit forward profiles.

Roaster’s Notes:
This month's coffee can be a challenge to roast evenly in a sample roaster until you are familiar with its personality. It likes a slow and steady heat similar to many of the Ethiopian coffees we've cupped together. While there have been several experimental processes we have cupped that left us on the fence, this is one of the exceptions. Once we found the light to medium roast level that best suited this coffee, we were hooked. While our supplier didn't offer specific details on the duration of this coffee's Carbonic Maceration, or other details we often like to rabbit hole, we can assume they will keep experimenting with this process. For now however,  as long as they keep experimenting, we'll keep cupping! 

While cupping this month look for hints of Peach followed by …wait a minute, if you want cupping notes Go Cup Yourself!

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Once you have finished Cupping, click on the “EXPERT TASTED” tab for our tasting notes. Can’t wait to compare notes.

As always, we'd love to hear from you. Better yet, tell the world what you think. If you've been enjoying the Go Cup Yourself experience, please take a moment to review us on FacebookGoogleYelp, Reddit, a bathroom stall door or anywhere you get your reviews.

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