Chocolatey, nutty caramel, and fruity are the three primary flavour characteristics, according to those in the coffee business. Where does the flavour originate from, though? What route does it take to get there?
Oliver James, master roaster and barista at Cairns’ Tattooed Sailor and Guyala Café, explains why “the source” is so important to good coffee to Tropic Now. Coffee growers have the most effect on the flavour of your cup – anywhere from 60% to 95%, depending on who you ask.
As coffee roasters, our job is to boil the green beans in a way that brings out their inherent flavours. Baristas are always striving to maximise the flavour potential of that roasted bean.
For hundreds of years, the beautiful red coffee cherries have been prepared in essentially the same way.
Pulping the fruit, washing the seed, and drying it in its parchment in the sun (the washed procedure), or sun drying entire ripe cherries are some of these ways (called natural process).
Two rows of coffee bags stacked to the ceiling in a warehouse, with a person strolling through the centre.
In Ethiopia, Olly visited a coffee farm. Image courtesy of the author.
In the cup, natural process coffee may generate amazing dried fruit flavours!
Coffee processing has been experimenting with novel processes including carbonic maceration, anaerobic fermentation, and yeast inoculation in the last decade, taking inspiration from the wine business.
Sweet red fruits, tropical mango and passionfruit, lively fermented cocoa, dark chocolates, winey and alcoholic
Farmers may generate a wider range of amazing flavours by eliminating oxygen from the fermenting process. My roastery, Tattooed Sailor, is fortunate enough to have a carbonic macerated Colombian bean. As it is ground, it smells like bubblegum and tastes like a sophisticated tropical fruit juice. It’s really delicious!
My first excursion to an international coffee plantation was to evaluate the Best of El Salvador Coffee Farming Competition more than six years ago.
Using a hybrid processing technique and honey process, the winner produced a very high-scoring clean, sweet mango and papaya-flavoured coffee with a very high-scoring clean, sweet mango and papaya-flavoured coffee with a very high-scoring clean, sweet mango and papaya-flavoured coffee with a very high-scoring clean, sweet mango and papaya-flavour.