Crown Jewel Colombia Circasia Edwin Noreña Double Carbonic Galaxy Hops Mossto Fermented Honey Gesha CJ1509 – 28806 – SPOT RCWHSE

Price $371.65 per box

Box Weight 22.00 lbs

Position Spot

Boxes 62

Warehouses Oakland

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Overview 

This is an experimental coffee, co-fermented anaerobically with Galaxy Hop infused mossto, from Quindío, Colombia, produced by Edwin Noreña on his farm, Finca Campo Hermoso. 

The flavor profile is extravagant, centering around floral lavender notes, spicy ginger, and hoppy pine.  

Our roasters found the coffee benefited from an extended Maillard phase and low rate of rise at first crack, and caution it may tend to take off during development. 

When brewed our baristas recommend dialing back the ratio for lighter pour-overs. 

Taste Analysis by Chris Kornman 

If a double-carbonic hop-infused mossto-fermented honey process Gesha sounds a little over the top to you, well, you’re not wrong. This coffee is the poster child for “extra.” What I think is really interesting and impressive about the coffee is that Edwin Noreña’s unconventional processing styles emerge out of respect for the inherent flavors of cultivar and terroir. 

One thing about Geshas is that they’ve always been over the top. Whether it’s the price point or the unique flavor profiles, part of the reason these coffees are celebrated is due to their extraordinary nature. Noreña’s playful take on the flavor here is not much less than a mirror reflecting back to us, in distinctive flavor profiles, exactly what we’ve been reveling in for nearly two decades. 

Specifically, this coffee is bombastic. It’s a floral-forward brew that leans heavily on lavender, rose, hibiscus, and other perfumy bouquets that exude extravagance. There’s also something distinctly hoppy about it, from notes of pine to black tea, rosemary, ginger, and eucalyptus, that sticky, slightly bitter herbal note that’s so distinctive in IPAs and pale ales is here. The coffee of course oozes fruit notes as well, from citrusy tangerine to overripe watermelon and chocolate-covered strawberries. 

Long on flavor and light on subtlety, this gaudy coffee is unconventional and unequivocally head-turning. It’s not exactly balanced, nor is it pure chaos; there’s a method to the madness that centers around the decadence of sweet spice and florality found in only the rarest of the world’s coffees. 

Source Analysis by Chris Kornman with Charlie Habegger 

Co-fermentation in coffee is highly experimental and wildly controversial, and it’s worth investigating what exactly this coffee is, how it’s been processed, and who is responsible.  

Edwin Noreña is the farmer and inheritor of Finca Campo Hermoso, following three prior generations. Edwin’s contribution to the family legacy would be to convert the farm into a specialty coffee powerhouse, with a specific focus on fermentation technique and cultivar selection. Noreña is an agroindustrial engineer by trade with graduate-level studies in biotechnology and is well-connected and highly aspirational coffee producer who focuses on cultivating carefully curated varieties paired with precise processing methods, designed to express the most surprising, memorable, and delicious coffees possible within his resources. Finca Campo Hermoso concentrates on growing cultivars far apart from the nationally-distributed hybrids of Castillo or Colombia, or the traditional Caturra. Instead the farm has in production Pink and Yellow Bourbon, Sidra, Gesha, and Cenicafe 1, a relatively new resistant hybrid developed Colombia’s national coffee research institute of the same name.  

Noreña explained his methods and philosophy recently in an interview. His audacious-sounding coffee could be taken as evidence of the producer’s (figurative) intoxication with fermentation’s power. However, for Noreña, his application of these processes is intended to be in service of the coffee’s inherent flavors, emerging out of respect. “It was a development that we adapted from the world of wine to enhance the flavors of coffee, always trying to intensify each coffee process using the original coffee flavors.” 

This is evidenced by Noreña’s reliance on the coffee’s mossto as a primary additive. He’s literally just adding extra coffee juice and selected microbes from a previous fermentation batch of the same cultivar. “Mossto is a catalyst that helps to accelerate, control and enhance chemical reactions during coffee fermentation,” he explains.  

Ok, so what exactly is happening with this Carbonic Galaxy Hop process? Let’s break it down: 

Noreña picked this coffee from Gesha trees, using a brix meter to selectively harvest, after which the cherries soak underwater for about an hour. Primary fermentation takes 72 hours and occurs in whole cherry, in a sealed tank. The coffee is then pulped and set for secondary fermentation for 96 hours, infused with the mossto from the first fermentation (Mossto, or “must,” is used here to indicate the runoff of a prior fermentation batch). This mossto is infused with Galaxy Hops, and is recirculated every twenty-four hours for a total of four days in secondary maceration. This heavily fermented “honey” coffee is then taken to raised beds to dry for 22 days, followed by a controlled warehouse humidity stabilization for an additional 8 days. 

The result is a highly amplified flavor profile, with extreme floral notes, bombastic dark fruit tones, and an incredible sweetness. This is an adventurous coffee, geared towards the curious and open-minded, and we’re proud to add it to our list of Crown Jewels. 

Green Analysis by Chris Kornman 

An unprecedented entry into the Crown Jewel catalogue, this co-fermented Gesha come to us with remarkably “normal” looking green coffee features, which should help the average roaster quickly figure out how to handle the green.  

Much like other anaerobic or multi-stage fermentations, this Hops-mossto process is moderate in density but pretty normal in moisture and water activity numbers. Additionally, it’s not all that surprising to find a wide range of screen sizes, as smaller microlots like this tend to filter out fewer out-sized beans.  

Overall, this lot is a little on the soft and widely spread side, making it an ideal candidate for slower, gentler handling in the roaster. I’d also recommend keeping the beans sealed up between roast cycles to maximize shelf life. 

Diedrich IR-5 Analysis by Doris Garrido  

I have been talking a lot about this coffee since we cupped the first sample. I am not a huge beer fan, but if you can Imagine a coffee that taste like beer, we have it here at The Crown, it is on the Royal Crown Jewel menu, I get to roast it, and I am hoping we can brew it on a nitro cold brew! 

As you can read in its name: galaxy hops mossto fermented honey, was made to have this quality beer taste using nothing less than a Gesha cultivar from Colombia. 

If that is not enough to incentivize curiosity, I will start my analysis by sharing some of the tasting notes I got for this coffee: Rosemary, ginger, cloves, coriander seeds, mint, lavender, eucalyptus, and rose water! If you want to try something different, this is it. 

As this is the gesha cultivar with this kind of process, I decided to go gentle on my 5.5lb. batch. I charged it at 400F and started adding gas little by little, from 30% to 70% and 100% and left it there for about 3 minutes, then I started lowering from 70% to 30% just before the color change. With this gas movement I was able to get 4:46 minutes in drying and just past 4 minutes in Maillard. I started the air flow with 50% but decided to go all the way with 100%, to push all the smoke away, but also to help my rate of rise drop from 40/60 seconds at color change to 12/60 seconds at first crack. I noticed that in the middle of post-crack development rate of rise was not lowering and trying to rise instead, and I took the decision of kill the burners at around 40 seconds and watch it lowering to 0 and drop the coffee right there. My end temperature marked 379.1 F with 1:31 seconds of post-crack time. 

With 10:20 final roast time, I am proud of the results in this roast. I was so excited on the cupping table that I texted our marketing team right away to communicate my wish of having this coffee on the next Cata Latina cupping table. I want everybody to taste it and I will keep talking about it, because you may like hops or not but as a person who was doing wine before it is undeniable the methodical work of the coffee maker Edwin Noreña 

 

Aillio Bullet R1 IBTS Analysis by Evan Gilman 

Unless otherwise noted, we use both the roast.world site and Artisan software to document our roasts on the Bullet. You can find our roast documentation below, by searching on roast.world, or by clicking on the Artisan links below.  

Generally, we have good results starting our 500g roasts with 428F preheating, P6 power, F2 fan, and d6 drum speed. Take a look at our roast profiles below, as they are constantly changing! 

With such an unconventional cultivar and processing method, it might be hard to know where to start! Dear reader, there’s really no precedent for a coffee exactly like this, so I was in the same boat with you to begin with, but I’m here to guide you to shore or send you forthwith into the briny deep, whichever you prefer.  

From the outset, I knew that I would need a couple tries roasting this coffee, even if I was to be intentional about planning the roast from what I had read in the green metrics. This coffee isn’t super dense, leading me to believe I should be relatively gentle to start off the roast.. But it also has a very wide range of screen sizes, so I knew I’d need to give it a hearty push. What did I do? Followed my gut instinct and stayed with what I’d do for a moderately dense and reasonably well sorted coffee.  

Charging at 455F, I started with P9 heat application and F2 fan, perhaps a bit too bold to start with, but I ramped down to P8 at turning point, and increased fan speed to F3 as well. Then at peak RoR of 37F/min, I reduced to P7 and F4. As the roast went on, I seemed to lose quite a bit of momentum, likely due to that hefty airflow, so I decided to add a bit more heat for a short spate. This was a bit too effective, and I returned to P7 while increasing to F5 fan. At this point I was just reacting rather than sticking to plan to be quite frank. Crack was very very soft on this roast, and I reduced the push to P5 and F5 respectively to finish out this roast at 399F / 9:34 with my tail somewhat between my legs.  

For my next roast, I started out with P8 and F2, and kept it there until peak RoR (again at 37F/min). From that point I reduced heat to P7, then increased fan to F4. This time I didn’t make any more changes until 360F / 6:36 where I reduced heat to P6. I rode this out until a very pronounced first crack and an attendant increase to F5 fan. Then I reduced to P5 heat for the final stages and voila. Roast finished at 399F / 9:55. Much, much better. 

On the table, Edwin Noreña has created a fabulous beast. It turns out my first roast wasn’t half bad, and bright petunia and geranium came through on the break. Unsubtle and very enjoyable, bergamot like a high quality Earl Grey tea blasted my sensorium. Upon cooling, the geranium coalesced into a super hoppy character. Absent though the alphic acid was, the humulene/humulone aromatics sat right on top. 

The second roast was a touch more subtle. The bergamot florals were more pronounced, and the sharp petunia was tempered to a low violet floral roar. The finish was far more nuanced and lasting, and this would be the cup that I’d choose.  

Here’s a coffee that’s ripe for exploration. Try it as espresso if you dare! Absolutely phenomenal as a single origin drip. Emphatically not a blender. You’ll never taste anything else like this! 

Roast #1: https://roast.world/@egilman/roasts/ZP2Jt-a6B2_TMGdLUC9QF 

Roast #2: https://roast.world/@egilman/roasts/frn3xg4ZR3QzqQgwoyknS 

Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Isabella Vitaliano 

Our current Ikawa practice compares two sample roast profiles, originally designed for different densities of green coffee. The two roasts differ slightly in total length, charge temperature, and time spent between color change in first crack. You can learn more about the profiles here. 

There is no mistaking this coffee when it is on a cupping table. It packs quite a punch all around with its wildly distinct flavors. When it first passed through our lab I wrote this coffee off as ‘not for me’ ostly because the floral notes are so pronounced, and I traditionally steer away from overly floral flavors. But I can appreciate the complexity of this coffee in its perfume-like attributes and nuance. The distinctness of this coffee is one that probably fuels the fire around the controversy of co-fermentation. What producers are ‘allowed to do’ and ‘not allowed’ to do. The experimental nature of this coffee does not make it lack in any sense of quality. With the help of Doris, let’s break down which roast nurtures this coffee to its potential.  

Starting with our low-density roast, the first thing I could describe it as was a big flower bomb: a strong lavender presence with some grapefruit, passionfruit, kiwi and nutmeg. Low in sweetness, the florals were extremely prominent here with soft ginger on the aroma.   

Up next, our high-density roast brought out some more sweetness that allowed for a more balanced cup. We got notes of brown sugar, lemon and cinnamon that rounded out the floral notes. With some hints of rose and eucalyptus that provided the cup with some more complexity. Although the flower notes are highly potent, the coffee remains clean and complex.  

Doris and I much preferred the high-density roast on this Gesha. If you are looking for an interesting coffee to add to your menu, this is the one! You won’t find floral notes like these anywhere else.  

You can roast your own by linking to our profiles in the Ikawa Pro app here: 

Roast 1: Low Density Sample Roast 

Roast 2: High Density Sample Roast   

Brew Analysis by Joshua Wismans 

For this coffee and our chili mossto anaerobic coffee, also from Edwin Noreña, we had to do as the producers have done: throw conventional wisdom out the window and use our in-depth knowledge of the rules to ultimately break them. What we learned was that when a coffee has this much in your face flavor, the traditional extraction percentage and TDS targets no longer apply.   

After some playing around, the first brew we wanted to highlight is defined by its unusually low dose. This gave us an extraction percentage of 16.13% and a TDS of 1.17. In the usual coffee circles, this is easily defined as “under-extracted”, and usually presents as a weaker cup. While this is weaker compared to some of our other brews of this coffee, if you were to put this up next to a more traditional process, it certainly wouldn’t be the case (especially the aroma of this coffee!). We got delicate ginger, rose, cane sugar, tropical tea flavors, and a pleasant piney-ness from the hops, which you can definitely taste. 

In an attempt to find the middle ground between a more traditional brew and our lighter brews, we had two brews at 1.33 TDS and 1.25 TDS that showcased the pungency and power of this coffee without going over the top. The pine from the hops were present, but so were notes of ginger, skittles, honey, apple, and lavender. The tasting notes from these brews go on and on. Like we said, there’s a lot going on here. Our ratio was 17 grams of coffee to 300 grams of water on both brews, with slightly different grinds. 

For good measure we wanted to fully document a brew that met traditional numbers for a properly extracted brew. We ground finer, had a coffee to water ratio of 1:15.79, and had a final TDS of 1.46. The aroma had folks from across the lab turning their heads. Bursting out of the cup were notes of perfume, rose, fudge, pine, and ginger. All these notes were present in the other brews, but the volume was cranked to almost overwhelming levels. 

We recommend a slightly lower TDS to help reign in the power of this coffee. But if the wildness is what you’re after, hit those more traditional marks. 

Coffee Background

For such a naturally gifted department as Quindío, precious few coffees seem to make it out into the world. Quindío is Colombia’s second-smallest department by size, making up only about 0.2% of the national territory. It’s location, however, right on the central cordillera of Colombia’s vast Andes divide, and centrally between the country’s largest and most influential cities (Bogotá, Medellín, and Cali), give it a high volume of tourist traffic, coffee industry, airline commuters, and idyllic getaways in the form of brightly painted mountain towns, natural reserves, and high elevation tropical landscapes throughout. Almost the entire department is mountainous, its lowest elevations still over 1000 meters, and is dense with coffee plantations, from the small to the large and ambitious.  Finca Campo Hermoso is a 15-hectare farm outside of Circasia, only a few kilometers north of Quindío’s capital city Armenia. It’s owner, Edwin Noreña, is an agroindustrial engineer by trade with graduate-level studies in biotechnology. Edwin is a well-connected and highly aspirational coffee producer who focuses on cultivating very specific varieties paired with very specific processing methods designed to express the most surprising, memorable, and delicious coffees possible within his resources. Finca Campo Hermoso concentrates on growing cultivars far apart from the nationally-distributed hybrids, or traditional Caturra: the farm has in production pink bourbon, yellow bourbon, bourbon sidra, gesha, and Cenicafe 1, a resistant hybrid developed by Cenicafé, Colombia’s national coffee research institute. The resulting coffees are marketed under “El Alquimista”, Edwin’s personal brand for his microlots, which have featured in barista competitions and choosy roasters around the world.  The gesha variety needs no introduction in the specialty world, although it’s worth mentioning that despite wide experimentation in Colombia among growers it has yet to achieve the same level of appreciation here than elsewhere, which is surprising given the level of experience throughout Colombia’s coffee sector. It does, however, have its moments.   Edwin’s process for this particular gesha is a combination of steps that he calls “black honey double carbonic maceration ginger sundried”, which uses a combination of anaerobic cherry fermentation, mucilage fermentation, and a traditional honey process to achieve the final profile. Once picked, the gesha cherries are fermented in a sealed tank deprived of oxygen to allow the fruit to soften and sugars to peak, after which the cherries are depulped and fermented anaerobically a second time with the addition of ginger. After the second, scented fermentation is complete, the coffee is moved to raised screen beds to dry in the sun as a “black” (high mucilage) honey. The result is an intensely-flavored coffee with dark dried fruit notes as well as anise, florals, and a viscous mouthfeel.  Oxygen-deprived, or “anaerobic” fermentation environments like the above have gained traction among processing wonks in coffee for the unique flavors and tanginess they can add, as well as creating exaggerated characteristics in the cup compared to what we’re used to. Edwin, by investing in his processing knowhow, is able to produce a wide variety of cup profiles from a small parcel of land, further expanding cuppers’ expectations of Quindío coffees and evolving the standards of his peers, not to mention boosting the notoriety of Campo Hermoso and the 30 families that contribute work to the farm.