COLOMBIA IGNACIO RODRIGUEZ NATURAL, Onyx Coffee Lab
This natural process coffee is grown on the La Palmera farm in the mountains of Caldas. Ignacio carefully controls oxygen levels in the fermentation of his cherries, creating an environment where delicate fruit esters and acids are developed. Onyx Coffee Lab roasts all coffee using Solar Energy, and each bag is made with 100% renewable plant-based resources. Available in four sizes: 4 Ounce, 10 Ounce, 2 Pounds, or 5 Pounds.
Variety: Castillo, Colombia
Elevation: 1600 Meters
Cup: Nectarine, Panela, Lime, Toasted Almond
La Palmira is located in the mountains of Caldas, Colombia. Located between the two split Andes mountain ranges, Caldas experiences a microclimate, influenced by the winds from the ocean to the West. With clouds enveloping the region, the coffee trees grown on Ignacio’s farm experience cold nights, with windy days that offer airflow. Within the farm, La Palmira has a team of pickers who hand select ripe cherries from his well cultivated Castillo and Colombia varieties. Ignacio employs a pre-fermentation on those ripe cherries before moving his natural processed coffees to the drying beds, giving his microlots a subtle winey characteristic. During this pre-fermentation, Ignacio controls oxygen levels, preventing microbes from over-producing acetic acids which can lead to off flavors in the cup.
NATURALLY PROCESSED COFFEE
Natural coffees are beautiful… Okay, natural coffees are beautiful when done properly, but can be equally terrible when things go wrong. Natural processing, or dry processing, refers to the act of drying and fermenting coffee inside the cherry. Long before the age of portafilter tattoos and dual-boiler home espresso machines, coffee was picked and dried this way out of convenience. It is, to this day, still the most convenient and economically friendly way to process coffee cherries. (It’s estimated that dry-processing can use up to 90% less water than the washing process.) So why isn’t all coffee processed this way? Well, as coffee made its way across the world, it was commoditized and standardized, just like all other products spread by colonialism, but that’s a whole other story... Adding to the boom of washed processing, the natural process method can be tricky to get right, due to the delicate nature of fermentation and drying. What does all this have to do with the final cup? Well, when you leave the skin and fruit of the coffee cherry on the seed throughout fermentation and drying, that fruit begins to break down, imparting esters that influence delicate florals and big fruit notes into the seed that survive the roasting process. If it’s rushed or handled incorrectly, this fruit rot can lend off-flavors to the coffee, making the final cup dirty or ‘fermenty.’ Basically that single cherry begins to slowly decay, and controlling that delicate action through advanced technique and metrics allow us, lucky folks, to drink wonderfully floral and fruity coffees. We have long promoted natural processed coffees, and this Natural from Ignacio Rodriguez is just one of the reasons we do.