Barista Magazine

APR-MAY 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 88 of 135

89 POSITIVE CHANGE IN NEGATIVE TIMES @queerwavecoffee goal. Zack expects the same to be true in coffee. Between 2016 and 2017, fi eld trials of these strains were conducted at coffee farms in Tanzania, Laos, Nicaragua, Mexico, India, and Brazil by Laurent Berthiot, coffee specialist with Lalle- mand who previously worked with CI- RAD, the French agricultural research and international cooperation organiza- tion for sustainable development of trop- ical and Mediterreanan regions. After extensive trials in which Laurent varied everything from the coffee processing to the duration of soak, the quantity of coffee to the amount of mucilage, all trials were sampled and sent back to Lallemand's lab for cupping according to Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) protocols. Some of the most signifi cant fi ndings included improvement to low- grown Arabicas and Robustas. Laurent also kept notes on farmer feedback, such as challenges with the suggested temperature parameters (for example, in Tanzania all water must be heated by wood fi re, which presents dif- fi culties), and faster demucilagination. LalCafé's three yeast strains were developed to optimize and enhance the best characteristics of coffees. For ex- ample, Cima enhances brightness and citrus notes, while Intenso is all about mouthfeel, fl oral aromas, and tropical fruit notes. Oro is the most dexterous in that it is recommended for a broad range of climates and varieties, and is also especially effi cient time-wise with full demuciliganation in less than three hours in most conditions. Zack sent some samples down to Santa Ana, and Aida got right to work. She can't even recall all the experi- ments she's done with them, from vary- ing soak time to playing with yeast-to- water ratios and even temperatures. She went so far as to try spraying it on cherry laid out on raised beds, and she's even played with applying the yeast solution to cherry that is picked by snipping the stem with scissors rather than plucking in order to ensure the skin stays intact. "Will the yeast penetrate the skin, and if so, to what end?" Aida says. "There are so many ways we can use these yeasts—there is so much potential in this. Yeast in- oculation in coffee fermentation might be the biggest thing to ever happen to specialty coffee." Myths about yeast inoculation in cof- fee fermentation • Brix † of coffee cherry equals ripeness (it doesn't). • Higher Brix is always better (it's not, and sometimes it's counter-productive) • Inoculated fermentations are risky (they're not). • Selected microbes can only benefi t lower-quality coffees (they could benefi t any coffee). • Using yeast is a magic bullet to increase coffee quality (it's not). • If we all use the same yeast or bacteria, all cof- fee would taste the same (it wouldn't–but yeast strains should be selected based on altitude, cultivar, ripeness, competition, etc.). • Selected microbes will change a producer's profi le (they offer choice: the cup profi le can be designed). • Inoculated fermentations are a trend (they are the standard in many industries) † Degrees Brix (°Bx) indicates sugar content. —Compiled by Lucia Solis

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