Yepocapa: Natural Processed
Okay! I'm really excited to share with you about this coffee! Cooperatives internationally aren't known for producing the worlds most amazing coffees. If you look at the Cup of Excellence events of each country, you'll be hard-pressed to find a few cooperatives entered into these events especially in Central American countries.
Since working with the farmers in Yepocapa and seeing them obtain their export license, it was our next step to gain entry into the Specialty Coffee Market by of course producing specialty grade coffees. As we sat and talked about the possibilities to come as well as the many changes to come, we asked the farmers if they'd consider working on honey and natural processed coffees.
Our first ever Natural processed lot that came out of Yepocapa was a huge hit and even a surprise. Truthfully we had low expectations for the first lot since the farmers had never attempted a Specialty Natural before. Although it wasn’t perfect, it displayed blackberries jams, light strawberries, and even a slight whisky note that was heavily endeared.
This last year, we decided to take the Natural to another level by working alongside a single farmer named Roberto Luna. He owns quite a bit of land down south of Yepocapa and a small plot of land up north in an area called Itzapa, Chimaltenango which lies around 1700 meters. This is where this single varietal Caturra lot came from. We didn’t get the chance to meet Roberto this year but it was neat to see the cooperative take the leadership role meeting with Roberto sharing with him the significance of his lot and the part he’d play in it.
The cooperative put a lot of thought into processing the Natural this year using what we learned from processing it the year previously and talking with Manual Ramos; a processing expert. Instead of using the raised dry beds which took longer to dry, they used the patios this time which allowed the tiled patios to absorb moisture faster and dissipate it with larger surface areas. They pre-floated the cherries to remove any low-density cherries which also cleaned the cherries in the process allowing for better natural bacterias to propagate the fermentation. In the morning after depositing and washing the cherries, the cooperative hired 8 women to sort through the cherries before they began their drying process to remove any underripe or overripe cherries. We learned that ripeness consistency really plays a role in Natural production.
We’re really proud of this lot for a lot of reasons. We were able to evade over-fermentation conditions, dry more evenly, and ensure consistency of maturation. We did recognize some mistakes that we didn’t consider until much later. Due to the rakes that were used to dry this lot, a percentage of cherries were unintentionally removed from the beans in the raking process causing inconsistencies in the roast profile.
Progress and Potential. What I love most about the Natural production is that it’s requiring much more thought, education, and innovation. Farmers are beginning to learn what it takes to produce those $54/lb lots we see on the cup of excellence competitions. The goal is that one day smallholder farmers from Yepocapa would be able to enter their own lots into this competition. At the same time, we recognize that this doesn’t happen without trial and error. The fun part is that we get to try again and do better year after year to serve the roasters that support the farmers and vice versa.
We've love it if you'd be a part of this lot. We may only have 9-10 bags available but we think they're really tasty and we'd love it if people came along the sidelines with us by sipping on this coffee!
Producer: La Cooperativa San Pedrana Agricola Integral
Varietals: Single Varietal Caturra
Region: San Pedro Yepocapa, Chimaltenango
Altitude: 1,700+ masl
Harvest: Nov, 2017 - Feb, 2018
Processing: Natural Processed on Drying Patios Only
Dry Milling: 15+ Special Preperation SHB in 152lb/69kg Grain-Pro
Cupping Notes: TBA
Price: $3.95/lb May, 2019
Quantity: 0 (Sold Out)