SMOKED CARAMEL, CHOCOLATE, TOASTED
The process of applying heat to green coffee beans to transform its chemical & physical properties, resulting in roasted coffee beans that can be brewed.
At the Specialty Coffee Expo in Boston last month I met a farmer who had travelled from El Salvador. I talked to him about his farm and discovered that his was the very same farm that we had bought coffee from only a week before! La Esperanza is an impressive operation which has grown coffee for generations and yet seems to be a nimble state-of-the-art coffee growing business. Their skill and expertise is apparent in the rich, clean and sweet flavor of this coffee.
Similar to Napa Valley or Burgundy for wine, the region where a coffee is grown can tell us a lot about the coffee.
The farm & mill where the coffee cherry is grown & processed.
The Magaña-Menendez family has been growing coffee for more than a century, and their expertise is evident in the final brewed cup. It’s not just the family’s commitment to quality and consistency that make Finca La Esperanza stand out, however. The family is also deeply committed to doing good — both socially and environmentally. The Magaña-Menendezes support programs within their community to help others and La Esperanza is certified by the Rain Forest Alliance. RFA certification helps ensure the family is taking care of the land and ecosystem now, and will be able to grow coffee for a long time to come.
The method by which the green coffee bean is removed from the fruit & then dried & stored can affect the taste of the coffee.
WET PROCESSED (WASHED)
This selection is fully washed, or wet processed. In wet processing, beans are only dried after all the fruit on the bean has been completely removed. (Letting the fruit ferment first makes removing it easy.) This processing method:
- Is the most common method used for coffee
- Generally creates clean flavors
- Produces a consistent profile
Most wine drinkers know whether they prefer a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlot. Similarly, the Arabica coffee plant has several botanical varieties, each with unique taste characteristics.