Finca Vista Hermosa Natural 2019
Normally, Finca Vista Hermosa produces washed coffees. Here, Edwin Martinez, who runs the farm, describes their recent experiments with the Natural method of coffee processing.
Peter and Edwin looking at the old fermentation tanks at Finca Vista Hermosa
10.01.2019Peter Dupont

Previously, in August, we released the beloved ‘Green one’ from Finca Vista Hermosa in our coffee shops. This washed Guatemalan coffee can be described as a clean, balanced coffee with a delicate acidity and aromas of pecan nuts, plum and nougat. The beans have been hand-picked and brought to the wet mill, where they’ve been post-harvest sorted, weighed and collected. After weighing and registering, the fruit pulp and the beans are separated by a de-pulper, leaving the sticky, sugary layer, the mucilage, left on the bean. To remove this, the mucilage will be dissolved in a fermentation tank. When the process is completed, you instantly want to stop the fermentation to avoid over-fermentation. Therefore, the beans are immediately washed with cold water effectively ending the fermentation of the bean. The next step would be to transfer the beans to the patios for drying.  

Fermentation tanks are being filled

Another method to post-harvest process the coffee berries is the Natural method. Normally, Finca Vista Hermosa are not using the Natural method. It just so happened by accident. Edwin Martinez who runs the family-owned farm, explains: 

»The Naturals honestly resulted from an accident and it turned out to be an interesting discovery. We did an experiment where we had a microbiologist living on the farm for 90 days. He would select specific bacteria and through inoculation be able to have a controlled fermentation (most that use this term are simply monitoring, and perhaps controlling time as a variable, maybe temperature, but not the bacteria.)«

What Edwin explains is the importance of monitoring fermentation in the beans to get an outcome that doesn’t taste bad. He continues:

»On the first day we were to start, our de-pulper was broken and it had been broken 24 hours earlier. We fixed it that same afternoon and were able to proceed. However, we had a full day picking sitting from the day before that did not get processed. This sitting of perfectly ripe cherries helped bring about more sweetness and uniformity in fermentation.«

A picture Edwin Martinez sent us of the Natural lot

This Natural lot can be described as complex, sweet with a creamy full body. There are notes of vanilla, and very ripe strawberries. 

We look forward to hearing your thoughts on this particular coffee. If you don’t have access to our coffee shops, you can acquire the coffee on our web shop. 

The coffee cherries drying in the sun

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