We’ve been excitedly waiting for this coffee to land here at the roastery so we could share it with you – this Natural Lactic process Geisha from Las Alasitas is something pretty exceptional.
It’s a rare process and varietal in one; and it’s also more than double the green price of the next most expensive coffee we’ve ever shared (which was also a Geisha, and also VS). To make sure there’s enough to go around, this month’s delivery is 100g. Savour it!
At Las Alasitas, Pedro hires pickers from the Villa Rosario community to carefully handpick the coffee during the harvest. These pickers are trained to select only the very ripest cherries, and multiple passes are made through the farm throughout the harvest to ensure the coffee is picked at its prime. Selective picking is always very important and is particularly important for special micro-lots like this one, to ensure a very sweet and clean cup. The Rodríguez family has found that the very ripest (almost purple) cherries provide the best cup.
For the farm’s special varieties like Java and Gesha, the family uses special blue aerated crates (often used in wine production for grapes) to collect and transport the cherries.
These crates ensure the coffee is not damaged whilst it is being transported and also allows the coffee to breathe, preventing unwanted early fermentation.
Pedro is always innovating and trialing different processing techniques and in this case the coffee was processed with a strong influence from the wine industry. After being picked and weighed, the coffee cherries were carefully washed and then placed whole, with their husk, or ‘cascara’ intact, to ferment under controlled temperature and pH conditions in the family’s brand new custom-built stainless steel tanks (shown in the video below) for 10 hours. This process allows for the development of lactic acid, resulting in a silky mouthfeel and creamy character in the flavour profile. The Rodríguez family also calls coffees processed this way ‘choco naturals.’
The coffee was then gently washed and laid out to carefully dry on raised African beds, and turned every hour for a total of 175 hours until it reached 11.5% humidity.
Once the coffee was dry, it was transported to La Paz where it was rested before being milled at Agricafe’s dry mill, La Luna. At this state-of-the-art mill, the coffee was first hulled and sorted using machinery, and then by a team of workers who meticulously sorted the coffee again (this time by hand) under UV and natural light. The mill is one of the cleanest and most impressive we have seen.
Geisha is an exceptionally high quality coffee variety that is grown throughout Central America, and is named after the town of Geisha in Ethiopia where the seeds originated.
While the variety produces exceptional quality, the plants are also low yielding and require a large amount of stringent and detailed maintenance. For these reasons it often sells for very high prices. Geisha has proven to be relatively disease resistant in most grown areas.
BREW, SHARE AND ENJOY
Now you know a bit more about the background it’s time to enjoy this awesome coffee! If you don’t know where to start, you can use Reuben’s brewing recipe (coming soon, see below).
You can also try your favourite method and play around with some settings to get the best of it. Don’t forget to tell us how it went, adding your recipe here, via email or on Instagram at @samplecoffee.
We look forward to hearing about your experience with this VS coffee!