|Farm||Lagunetas | Mustefa Abakeno|
|Province||Metapan Region, El Salvador | Agaro, Jimma, Western Ethiopia|
|Varietals||Pacas & Bourbon | Heirloom
|Processing||Sparkling Water Decaffeination Process|
|Altitude||1,200 - 1,500 masl | 2,000 masl|
|Roast Style||Medium roast|
Cup Profile: Tangerine / Dark Chocolate / Syrupy Body
More on the Origin and Process:
EL SALVADOR - LAGUNETAS:
Alejandro Valiente’s family has grown coffee in the Metapán region of north-west El Salvador for four generations. When he took control of the wet mill in 2010, he started experimenting with processing techniques, determined to showcase the potential of coffees from this region and to make his mark on the rising specialty scene.
His first ever Pacamara micro-lot, submitted to a pioneering new project organized by the Millennium Fund, immediately gained him attention and plaudits. The standout lot impressed the project coordinators enough to earn Alejandro a visit from Ryan Brown, then the green coffee buyer for Stumptown, who proved to be a great influence on Alejandro’s vision and helped him to explore the untapped potential in the Metapán region.
Alejandro was invited to be involved in agronomy projects in Nicaragua and Guatemala and spent some years sharing his wealth of knowledge there. However, in 2017 he felt the call to return to his roots and apply all that he’d learned to his land and community at home.
It was on his return to the family farm that the Socios de Cosecha (Harvest Partners) project was born. Alejandro assumed a leadership role within his community, helping local producers to develop improved processing techniques. The infrastructure of the mill was upgraded with the construction of three-tiered drying beds – specially designed to hug the trees and feel part of the landscape. A purpose-built cupping lab – with superb views over the surrounding hills – was established on site so that the local farmers can sample the products of their endeavours.
The project now works directly with 67 producers (with farms of 1-3ha) for 100% traceability on each micro-lot, and a fully solar-powered dry mill has been established on site to save on milling costs and to be fully vertically integrated in the supply chain.
The team has been a pioneer in sustainable practices and it’s inspiring to see how seamlessly their practices work with the environment to produce great coffees – summer 2021 has seen a superb selection of honey and natural processed lots from Socios de Cosecha.
ETHIOPIA - MUSTEFA:
Mustefa Abakeno is a smallholder farmer who owns 18 hectares of land near to Agaro in the Jimma area of Western Ethiopia. The farm and wet mill is located 2040masl and is planted with various variety selections from the Jimma research centre. Mustefa has a small disk pulper, which he uses for half of his coffee, the other half is dried as a natural.
Due to a lack of water in the area and limited space to ferment the coffee, Mustefa ferments the coffee for a short period of time before he moves it to his drying beds, and the result is something like a light honey process. Mustefa has recently registered as an exporter in order to start selling his coffee directly to buyers, which he is now able to do since the changes to regulation in Ethiopia. He has set up a small wet mill where he processes his farm’s and outgrowers’ coffee, which he keeps separate and dries on raised beds near his house. Mustefa’s outgrowers are all neighbours and have between 4 and 10 hectares of land each. He is processing both natural and washed coffee and all of it is dried semi-shaded. We anticipate that Mustefa will have around 600 bags available this year, half washed and half natural.
With the support of the team we have in Addis we are able to work directly with small producers such as Mustefa. We see a huge opportunity to drive quality uplift through direct relationships like this one, as we are able to work with Mustefa and his outgrowers on cherry selection, drying and farm management, covering all aspects of quality best practises. By working directly we are also able to make the supply chain much more efficient and maximise the amount of money that goes back to the producers.
SPARKLING WATER DECAFFEINATION PROCESS:
The Sparkling Water Decaffeination Process was first discovered by a scientist called Kurt Zosel at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research in 1967 as he was looking at new ways of separating mixtures of substances. In 1988, a German decaffeination company called CR3 developed this process for decaffeination, whereby natural carbon dioxide is combined with water to create 'sub-critical' conditions which creates a highly solvent substance for caffeine in coffee. It is a gentle, natural and organically certified process and the good caffeine selectivity of the carbon dioxide guarantees a high retention level of other coffee component, which contribute to taste and aroma.
The process is as follows:
The green beans enter a 'pre-treatment' vessel where they are cleaned and moistened with water before being brought into contact with pressurised liquid carbon dioxide. When the green coffee beans absorb the water, they expand and the pores are opened resulting in the caffeine molecules becoming mobile.
After the water has been added, the beans are then brought into contact with the pressurised liquid carbon dioxide, which combines with the water to essentially form sparkling water. The carbon dioxide circulates through the beans and acts like a magnet, drawing out the mobile caffeine molecules.
The sparkling water then enters an evaporator which precipitates the caffeine rich carbon dioxide out of the water. The now caffeine free water is pumped back into the vessel for a new cycle.
This cycle is repeated until the required residual caffeine level is reached. Once this has happened, the circulation of carbon dioxide is stopped and the green beans are discharged into a drier.
The decaffeinated coffee is then gently dried until it reaches its original moisture content after which it is ready for roasting.