June 24th we shipped out the third Five Pack of 2021.
This was a busy week, with the Forward Lottery wrapping up the few days after the Forward Five shipped out. Thank you for your participation in this program.
You've received coffees from two different farms. Cafe Granja La Esperanza in Colombia and Daterra Farm in Brazil.
#1 is an SL34 from Cafe Granja La Esperanza's farm, Potosi. This is a loud, vibrant, bright and complex coffee that I've been personally enjoying as pour over and espresso the last week. This is a very small production of less than 50kg total at Potosi, with Forward having purchased 12kg. This coffee was $90/lb FOB USD and personally I believe worth every penny.
#2 - #5 are all Masterpieces from Daterra. These are their top tier, nano-lot coffees. The coffees they experiment with the processing, or the unique and innovative genetic varieties they're producing on the farm. Normally these coffees are sold via auction; however, this past year Daterra did not host an auction and made they available for sale in a more traditional retail sense.
I'm a big fan of these coffees as they show such a diverse world of genetics and flavour profiles. Each of the three varieties is unique to Daterra and for me something I've never encountered on other farms! So that's fun.
You can read more about the Daterra Masterpieces here.
#2 is D28, Natural Anaerobic Naomi.
May 20th marks the second Five Pack of 2021.
This round we have three coffees from Ecuador, one from Colombia and one from Panama!
The first three coffees come from a newly established relationship with CafeExporto and Hacienda La Papaya, owned by well renowned coffee producer Juan Peña. These three coffees are examples of processing techniques that Juan has developed specifically to enhance his coffees and match his micro-climates in Ecuador.
These first three coffees you wont find listed on the website. They'll be coming in later in the year and should be made available on the 1kg menu.
The Oak Barrel coffees are a super fascinating concept in my opinion. These coffees are intentionally fermented in lightly used oak barrels, in whole cherry and this adds a really fascinating complexity of flavour to the cup - no that complexity isn't a 'woody' quality, but rather a smooth buttery body. The Typica is left in the Oak Barrel for 240 hours and the Sidra only sees 120 hours.
#1 Hacienda La Papaya Oak Barrel Typica
#2 Hacienda La Papaya Anaerobic Sidra
#3 Hacienda La Papaya Oak Barrel Sidra
Comparing coffee #2 and #3 is unique as they are both whole cherry fermentations for 120 hours, the only difference is the vessel they are fermented in. Coffee #2 is fermented in a plastic barrel that's sealed and has no exposure to oxygen, so here you can taste the difference between Sidra's fermented in different vessels.
Coffee #4 is currently one of my favourites available on the menu. Pacamara is such an intriguing coffee variety with its large size and unique flavour profile. I'm a big fan of the bright acidity and layers of complexity that showcase in the cup. Mix in Cafe Granja La Esperanza's unique XO process and we have an unbelievable flavour profile.
First 50 hours in a proprietary fermentation tank design, then this coffee goes to a mechanical dryer where it spends 72 hours in a controlled temperature. The idea of the mechanical dryer is to aid in the drying process as well as to create a level of intensity of flavour in the coffee - a faster initial drying phase can lead to a more explosive cup profile.
'Interstellar' was previously known as 'Limitless'. The idea behind these names are to evoke the sensation of endless possibility and / or potential. When Jamison Savage first started experimenting with yeast strains, he saw this as a way to push his coffees to a new dimension of flavour, adding elements that he could not, without the assistance and intervention of any additional yeast strain.
This process begins with beautifully ripe cherries, as most processes do, those cherries are then loaded into stainless steels tanks, inoculated with yeast and then sealed off for 50 hours. The resulting cup profile is complex and the mouthfeel is phenomenal.
On April 14th, we sent out the first Five Pack of 2021.
It's a really fun pack of coffees with some interesting comparisons to note.
There's a processing experiment that utilizes the same day harvest, with one variable modification between two lots. There's a low-caf coffee variety. There's also two similar processing techniques, done on two very different, forward thinking coffee farms and utilizing the same cultivar.
#1 Samuel Ronzon lot 10a ($2.95/100g)
#2 Samuel Ronzon lot 10b ($2.95/100g)
These are two of four parts to lot 10. There was also 10c and 10d, these coffees were sold to Rabbit Hole Coffee and Leaderboard Coffee. The utilized a 20% and 40% microbial substrate in the fermentation.
10a and 10b are both harvest on the same day and fermented for 168 hours in sealed food grade plastic tanks. From here, they're taken to dry on raised beds and 10a is dried slowly for 25 days - 10b on the other hand has its drying interrupted for 8 days in a sealed GrainPro bag, allowing a softer secondary fermentation as well as re-stabilization of the moisture content, it's then dried another 8 days, for 22 total.
#3 Cafe Granja la Esperanza Natural Laurina ($8.77/100g)
This is naturally low-caffeine content coffee, which I find incredibly fascinating. Caffeine is a bitter compound and is arguably contrary to the desires of specialty coffee goals of acidity and sweetness. By removing or lowering caffeine in the equation, we're not just changing the intention behind the coffee, we're including less bitterness in the flavour profile, giving the acidity and sweetness more room to shine.
Also known as 'Bourbon Pointu' in producer circles, Laurina is a tear-drop shaped seed that exists within the Bourbon family and has been known as 'Pointed Bourbon'.
This particular Laurina is produced at Finca La Esperanza and is only processed as a natural. It does not see an intentional fermentation stage, it first goes to a mechanical dryer for two days to stabilize, then 15 days on raised beds.
This coffee is sweet, sticky and stonefruit.
#4 La Palma y El Tucan lot 451, Natural Gesha ($13.51/100g)
#5 Finca Deborah 'Symbiosis', Natural Geisha ($23.56/100g)
These two are similar, yet totally different. They're both produced with great intention, as are all the coffees at Forward. These are both Gesha or Geisha, whatever you'd like to call it - we spell it the way the producer spells it.
Each of these coffees is fermented in a sealed tank for right around 100 hours. They're then taken through their respective drying process, both utilizing raised and covered beds, with different innovations each producer has designed to fit their unique circumstance and micro-climate.
These coffees are both bright, refreshing, complex and layered.