Its with great excitement we welcomed back the H-Town boys, Rocket Coffee.
One thing we've come to expect from the boys is to be spolied for choice of interesting coffees from a range of origins. Decisions can be hard when there are so many worthy choices, but we narrowed it from a handful of offerings sourced by our friends Cofinet, to a coffee from Finca El Eden, for a few reasons, incluing the opportunity to explore some previously untold (by us) aspects of coffee.
Incase you missed our previous collaboration with Rocket, check that out here.
We chose our June feature for to share the stories of producer Nelson Hurtado and his farm Finca El Eden, the importance of GrainPro bags and take a look at variety Yellow Caturra.
Image credit: Cofinet
Having picked coffee for as long as he can remember, Nelson Hurtado spent many years travelling around Colombia’s North Western department of Antoiquia picking coffee cherries. Nelson set out with the aim of working on the most productive farms, resulting in an ability to pick more cherries. A strategic move as pickers are typically paid by the kilogram picked. Moving to Gaitania (Planadas, Tolima) 15 years ago, Nelson continued to work as a picker and with his savings he was able to purchase his own farm, El Eden 5 years ago. Enchanted by the animals living in the region, Nelson grows his coffee surrounded by fruit trees, taking pleasure in looking after he birds that visit his farm and believes the more trees he plants the more birds will visit his farm.
A key attribute in Nelsons processing technique for this lot is the 40 hour fermentation in Grainpro bags. Without focusing too much on the exact details of the fermentation this time around, Its interesting to understand why GrainPro bags are not just a buzz word, but an industry standard for specialty coffee. Its also helpful in understanding how farmers such as Nelson are utilising items they have on farm to assist in techniques to raise cup scores and develop favourable cup profiles. GrainPro bags are a multi layer plastic bag commonly used to store (commodities including but not limited to) coffee, often lining the colourful jute coffee sacks we see adorning coffee shop walls, providing protection from the 3 biggest risks to coffee once its processed. Moisture, Temperature and Time. Given that coffee is dried to specific moisture parameters, it makes sense to protect it against moisture fluctuations it is often exposed to due to high humidity in producing regions. Certified for organic use, GrainPro bags provide a Hermetic (gas tight) and water resistant barrier for coffee. Shipped by land and sea, potentially taking months, coffee often sits in warehouses before being roasted, the Grainpro bags helping to retain freshness, while also eliminating the need for fumigation.
Caturra, is the first recognised natural hybrid of coffee. Seed samples were discovered sometime between 1915-1918 and records they made their way to IAC (instituto Agronomico) in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1937. The findings revealed the origin of the seeds was a natural, single gene mutation of Red Bourbon trees in Serra do Caparao. This lead to a mass selection breeding and provided the basis of all of the current Red (Caturra Velmelho) and Yellow (Caturra Aramelo) cultivars we know today. Both produce higher yields than their Bourbon relatives. One of the key reasons for this is the short or dwarf stature and the shorter distance between branches. Faster to maturity than older varieties of Arabica (eg: Bourbon), Caturra requires considerably more care and fertilisation, but offers pay off's including better disease resistance and an ability to be planted more intensively due to its small size. Until the Colombian Government sponsored, mass planting of Castillo for its superior resistance to coffee leaf rust in 2008 (See our January 2019 for more on Castillo), Cautrra was believed to represent almost 50 percent of coffee cultivated. In spite of its loss of popularity in Colombia to Castillo (of which it lends it genetics) Caturra is regarded as economically significant to central America and provides a benchmark to which many new cultivars are measured.
Click here here to learn about another variety with ties to Caparao region of Brazil, from our September 2019 feature.
Sub Region / Town: Giatania
Producer: Nelson Hurtado
Farm: El Eden
Altitude: 1600 – 1650 MASL
Varietal/Species: Yellow Caturra
Process: Natural 40 hour fermentation in GrainPro bags hand sorted, floated and dried on raised beds.
Aeropress: Inverted method
15g Ground coffee 250g water (Just off the boil)
Method: Pour half of the water to moisten the grounds Give a stir or swirl to ensure even saturation before adding the remaining water.
Aim for a contact time of 3 minutes
V60: (60g to 1 litre ratio) 20g Ground coffee 340g water
Method: Pour 70g of water to bloom and give the bed a good stir
At 30 seconds slowly pour the remaining water before giving another gentle stir and a “Rao spin” If you’re not familiar, check out Scott Rao on YouTube.
Aim for not less than 2 minutes 30, 3 minutes would be optimal.