We Taste: Passion Fruit, Lychee, Jack Fruit, and Mango Water Ice
Farm: Finca Monteblanco
Varietal: Purple Caturra
Process: Pineapple Washed
Elevation: 1,730 meters
Several years ago, Rodrigo explored the coffee trees planted on Monteblanco. He discovered various varieties his grandfather had grown in the 1980s.
One of these varieties is Purple Caturra, a type of Caturra whose cherries ripen to a deep purple color. All cherries harvested are measured for degrees Brix. Based on the sugar content, the team at Aromas del Sur, the umbrella group of Monteblanco, Progreso, and La Loma farms, then designates which processing method is the most appropriate.
For the passion fruit process, Rodrigo chose Purple Caturra due to its versatility in the preparation of any processing, thanks to its higher concentration of Brix degrees. Besides, Purple Caturra has an excellent sweetness material that allows the micro-organisms to have an optimal area to work on.
Once the specific probiotics have been chosen, a percentage of the probiotics is taken in order to form the main “mother mix”. In other words, a mass of 80 litres is separated from the “mother mix” into a 200-litre drum, where the passion fruit has been added to sweeten it. This step takes the mix to a few degrees Brix equal to the degrees that the coffee already has. This “mother mix” takes 8 days to reach its optimal state, which can be summarized in 190 hours of fermentation.
In the Passion Fruit process, Rodrigo and his team separates the micro-organisms and add passion fruit and cholupa (passiflora maliformis, or wild purple passionfruit). Fermentation then begins as the micro-organisms start to feed on the fruit. Molasses, sugar or panela are also added to this mix to provide energy so that the micro-organisms can do their work. Little by little the initial mix is fed with fruit and sweeteners until it reaches the desired characteristics.
As soon as the coffee lot arrives at the reception site, such as the hopper or floating place, 100 grains are taken from the coffee mass to measure the Brix degrees in which they are found. These 100 grains undergo floating, elimination of impurities, and then proceed to be de-pulped and deposited inside the 200-litre drums along with 80 litres of the pre-prepared fruit mix.
The coffee is then fermented for 150 hours with the fruit mix; at this stage, they do not allow the Brix degrees to fall below 6 or the pH under 4. Rodrigo discovered that this is the ideal point of balance for the coffee to be able to highlight the notes of the fruit as he does not want it to be an invasive flavour. This will not alter or contaminate the original Purple Caturra flavour, but it will take the notes of the fruit.
This process is named after the fruit because Rodrigo firmly believes in the ethics and truth that takes place within these wonderful processes.