15 Mar Gerardo’s House Honey
In my fist blog for the Coffee Quest I wrote about the new generation of coffee producers. Young people that usually roll into the business through their parents and that takeover the business when they are old enough. The difference with them and their parents is not only that their parents’ success allowed them to be more educated, they also have access to all the information on the internet, which enables them to learn from people from all over the word.
In El Salvador I met Gerardo. He told me very passionate about how he’s looking for ways to improve his already excellent coffee. In his cupping lab he proudly showed me his Ikawa sample roaster. He had to convince his father multiple times about the importance of this expensive machine. Now he’s working on it he can share his sample roasting profiles with roasters all over the world to create the exact same profile that was tasted on the initial cupping. In the cupping we did that day there was one coffee that in particular stood out with its unique flavor profile. When I revealed my favorite coffee Gerardo started to smile and proudly told me: “It’s my house honey. I processed it in my own house!”.[/vc_column_text]
At first Gerardo started to process coffee that grew at 1600 masl at a farm of his, that is slightly lower at 1200 masl. This instead of at the mill where it is a lot warmer. With 50% sun, 50% shade and only giving 8 hours of light a day he found a nice balance. With that he tried to increase the number of drying days because at the farm it is much cooler, especially at night. With this he reached a drying time of 15 days for the honeys and 22 for the naturals.
Then he got his first child and he didn’t have the opportunity to spend a lot of time at the farm to take care of the coffee for a while. He decided to do it in the house. Once his wife approved it, they installed all the beds in the house. They took on the task of pulping manually because the other pulper was still at the farm. Because of this crazy installation they had the opportunity to control all the possible variables to be able to replicate the process over and over again. The drying process lasted 24 days in total shade. The temperature if the house was set to 19 degrees Celsius during the whole drying process. The last day the coffee had one day outside in the sun before removing the parchment.
The result? A coffee with a full body, amazing honey-like sweetness and notes chocolate and ripe strawberry. The finish of this coffee was very long. Gerardo’s experiment worked like a charm.