What is fermented coffee

Where did fermentation come from?

To understand the concept of fermentation, let's go backto school and reminisce about chemistry lessons. Fermentation, or fermentation, is achemical process that involves yeast, bacteria and other microorganisms to produce simpler substances.

In short, it is a natural change in which sugar and water are combined. Coffee cherries are full of both, so they do a great job of it. In the cherry ,sugars and acids are metabolized , and these are then converted into alcohol and other acids.

In the food world, fermentation processing is well known and recently popular again. After all, who doesn't love aclassic pickle? These are among the most common fermented foods, along with sauerkraut, kimchi, and a host of dairy products from yogurt to aged cheeses. Not forgetting the popular alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, ciders or even mead. All of them are also created through fermentation, or fermentation.

Although it may not seem like it at first glance, food fermentation and coffee fermentation have a lot in common. Source: fitcann.cz

Fermented coffee

In the world of coffee, the concept of fermentation is not all that new either. We can encounterit in traditional ways of processing coffee cherries such as the dry method, the washed method or the honey method.

The collection and processing of coffee cherries is an important step before the actual processing. Source: barist.cz

All traditional processing methods also involve some degree of fermentation. Today, however, we will focus on fermentation methods that produce controlled and controlled

Controlled coffee fermentation

One of the first to experiment with the process of controlled fermentation in coffee wasSaša Sestic. His intention was to present thebest qualities of processed coffee in one cup. He wanted to build a technique that would bring out the aroma and flavour and cause a balance between acidity and sweetness.

With little research to build on in the coffee industry, he focused on wine instead. He was inspired by fermentationin a winemaking environment. He created a process that we can repeat on the farm every time, just as we do when making wine.

A hit with coffee drinkers

Recently, thecontrolled fermentation process has become an increasingly popular method of coffee preparation, both among roasters and consumers of fine coffee.

Some people have been looking for a way to fermented coffee and others have loved it since its inception. But one thing is for sure: in the coffee world, we can talk about fermentation as a modern trend in coffee processing.

What we smell in a cup of fermented coffee

Fermentation has an impact on the final taste of coffee, which can enhance or destroy it completely. In the best case, in a cup of fermented coffee, we feel a pronounced acidity and intense fruity and floral flavours.

Thereason coffee is so popular among coffee drinkers is the"funky" taste of the resulting beverage. Because of the chemical process that happens in coffee during fermentation, not only is there an appealing sweet and sour taste, but there are also typically alcoholic flavours and aromas such as rum, griotte or whisky .

However, the taste of the resulting coffee is strongly influenced by the type of fermentation by which the coffee is processed. Theformation of fermented coffee can occur in two ways - aerobic and anaerobic fermentation. Both methods, of course, require the presence of water and sugar from the coffee beans.

Types of coffee fermentation

Aerobic fermentation

  • theprocess of fermenting coffee in the presence of air
  • oxygen plays an important role, other tasks depend on the micro-organisms
  • one batch is fermented for about 12 hours, but the process can be extended to 96 hours
  • aerobic fermentation techniques include tropical fermentation

Anaerobic fermentation

  • coffee fermentation without oxygen
  • valves are attached to the vessels to remove oxygen and pressure
  • without oxygen, the process slows down and the coffee ferments for around 72 hours
  • anaerobic coffees have more intense flavours with tropical fruit notes

The anaerobic fermentation process

Carbonic maceration

  • similar to anaerobic fermentation, which is familiar from the winemaking environment
  • the difference is that the cherries are fermented as a whole and the fruit pulp is broken down from the inside out
  • this slows down the process, which can take up to several days
  • carbonic maceration brings incredible flavours to the cup, including red wine, whisky and banana

The first to experiment with the carbonic maceration method was Sasa Sestic. In 2015, at the World Barista Championship, he won with a coffee that was created using the then innovative fermentation method - carbonic maceration.

Whether you will fall in love with fermented coffee after the first sip or be one of those who will have to find their way to it, you will have to see for yourself. But one thing is certain. This new trend in coffee processing is one you should not miss.

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