Barista Magazine

APR-MAY 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Suddenly, it was our last night. We gath- ered around the hotel pool for a beer before dinner, and for the fi rst time all week, our group was mostly silent. The information was sinking in, but with each piece had come a desire for more, and a long list of additional questions. Rachel asked Zack if he had any samples of Cima, Oro, and Intenso she could take home to play with at Esmeralda, and was delighted that he did. Tim chatted with Aida about visiting early in 2018 to exper- iment with some fresh-picked cherry at J. Hill, much like Peter had done all those years ago. Peter had approached the experiment with just an idea and an itch to investigate. Tim looked forward to referencing the proto- cols supplied by Lallemand and Scott Labs, but also going off-book, Aida-style, and doing some rogue experiments, as well. If there's one thing coffee professionals all have in common it's an insatiable curiosity for how we might approach all facets of how we understand coffee, from picking to processing to serving, and everything in between. It was no surprise that other roast- ers have done some tests and trials with the LalCafé yeasts. I talked with Andrew Timko of Blueprint Coffee in St. Louis about his company's experience using yeast in lots at Finca Esperanza in the Cerro Pecul region of Guatemala. Andrew explained how Blueprint sources its coffee from one specifi c section of the farm, which is operated by Ana Vizcaino that is all Catuai grown at an altitude of 1,200–1,300 meters above sea level. He says that the coffees fermented through yeast inoculation from Ana's farm received high marks from various Q-graders, and sparked a lot of interesting conversations surround- ing the potential for improving quality. "Blueprint is using the yeast to help establish a baseline in improving overall quality throughout Ana's entire process," he says. "Yeast cannot be perceived as the sole actor in changing quality, but a catalyst. The yeast did improve the quality of the coffee signifi cantly. We were able to expend the fer- mentation time beyond a 'comfortable' range merely because of the standards that need to be in place for their success." Tim from Counter Culture is still reserved, though he describes himself as a skeptic at heart, so that's natural, more or less. "I have learned it is often better to enter into ideas and experimentation as a blank sheet and open to anything. So for the moment I am agnostic," he says about what he has learned about using yeast to control quality and taste variables in coffee process- ing. "What I will say [is that] I have tasted samples that have surprised me and have Expected benefits of coffee fermentation control through inoculation with selected yeasts DEVIATION RISKS MANAGEMENT: Allows for avoidance of uncontrolled fermentation and secures consistency. BIOCONTROL: Inoculation results in evading fi lamentous fungi growth (mold). TIME MANAGEMENT: Faster fermentation and better mucilage removal. QUALITY MANAGEMENT: Flavor improvement. 91 www.baristamagazine.com

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