Colombia - Milan - Washed Anaerobic Nitro
Farm & Farmer: Finca Milan, Julio Cesar Madrid Tisnés
Elevation: 1600 MASL
Processing: At Farm
Processing Method: Washed Nitro Fermentation
Tasting Notes: Watermelon Candy, Cantaloupe, Guava
Julio Cesar Madrid Tisnés is a third generation farmer who is dedicated to producing high quality coffee, focusing on varieties that are not traditionally found in Colombia. His daughter is a biologist who researched the sensory experience (Organoleptic properties) that results from using microbial starter cultures in coffee fermentation, and has helped Julio improve his processing methods.
Anaerobic Process is the use of controlled fermentation to manipulate the sugars and acids present in coffee cherries changing the flavor profile of the bean. All coffee goes through some form of fermentation (in the cherry after picking) but using a yeast mother mix, lactobacillus cultures, or other fruits (co-fermenting), producers can create a wide variety of flavor compounds. This processing method is constantly evolving as farmers experiment with new techniques (original "fermentation" technique is the Natural Process) but usually the Anaerobic Processing starts with sealing the coffee cherry (De-pulped or whole) inside large plastic barrels or Grain-Pro coffee bags full of liquid (or sometimes gasses). A one way valve allows the oxygen to be purged as the coffee cherries release their own gas (CO2). The coffee is left in the oxygen free environment for anywhere from a few hours up to a week. Once the fermentation is complete the cherries can be either de-pulped, washed, and dried (Washed Anaerobic), or it can be left to dry in the cherry before being sent through a dry mill (Natural Anaerobic).
This coffee is de-pulped the same day as harvest, before being put into bins with a mother culture. The oxygen is displaced using Nitrogen before sealing the bins for 30-45 hours of anaerobic fermentation. The coffee is then rinsed clean and dried on raised beds in a parabolic dryer, which diffuses the direct sunlight, protects from any other weather, and slows the drying process, with the coffee taking 25 days to get to its 10.5-11% moisture content. Coffee from this farm using this processing method was also featured in the World Barista Championship taking the competitor to second place. With a sweet and refreshing this coffee reminds us of watermelon hard candy, melons, and tropical fruit.