Anaerobic fermentation of coffee is a relatively new phenomenon in the world of coffee. With the popular El Paraiso, an anaerobic coffee from Colombia, we already had an anaerobically fermented coffee in our programme in the past. What is special about anaerobic coffees is their intense flavour and their unusual aroma profiles. For example, Samuel Bermudez's El Paraiso reminded us of strawberry jam and pomegranate.
Anaerobic coffees are particularly exciting from countries where coffee is otherwise more classic. Santa Lucia from Brazil for example surprised with tastes of honeydew melon and cane sugar and thus has little in common with the classic chocolatey-nutty coffee from Brazil.
Anaerobic initially means without oxygen. So the coffee beans are fermented in locked steel containers to the exclusion of external oxygen. The oxygen produced by the fermentation can escape to the outside through an oxygen valve. The producers have a lot of influence on the sugar content, the temperature, the pressure and the time of fermentation.
But there are also differences in the anaerobic processing of coffee. In some cases, the coffee beans are removed from the coffee cherry before fermentation. The so-called mucilage (natural sugar layer around the coffee bean) is separated and then placed over the coffee beans in the fermentation tanks. This is what happens with El Paraiso. In other cases, such as our Santa Lucia, the coffee cherries are placed whole in the tanks and fermented. The method used depends on the producer and also on the intended taste of the fermentation.
Regardless of the anaerobic fermentation process, a long drying phase follows, during which the moisture content of the beans is constantly monitored so as not to jeopardise the result of the anaerobic treatment.
All in all, the anaerobic fermentation of coffee is a very complex process that requires a lot of experience, equipment and know-how that only very few farmers have. And not only the process itself is complex. During harvesting, for example, only the ripest coffee cherries can be harvested without defects, as a particularly high sugar content is required for fermentation. But when used correctly, anaerobic fermentation leads to exciting coffees and completely new taste experiences that we are not familiar with from other types of processing (e.g. washed coffee). Anaerobic coffee is definitely something special and worth trying.
Wie Dir bestimmt bereits aufgefallen ist, findest du auf unseren Kaffees die Stichworte natural, anaerob oder auch gewaschen. Was bedeutet diese Info überhaupt? Eine Rohkaffeebohne kann nicht einfach so geerntet werden – was tatsächlich geerntet wird, ist die Kaffeekirsche.