Katia Duke & Cut Coffee: Four Lots - Fermentation and Drying Experiments

In the September 2018 issue, we featured coffees from Honduran coffee producer Katia Duke! To be exact, four split evenly between our subscribers.  

The four coffees are all from the same farm and are the same varietal. However, they are each processed with different fermentation times and drying methods. These minor changes can have a massive impact on the profile of the cup: 
katia duke farm pouring cherries honduras

Lot #7

had open fermentation for 36 hours and was dried on African beds outdoors.

This coffee has tasting notes of peach, honey & fresh fruits!

Try this coffee here (or maybe, try them all by clicking here). 

Lot #5

Had open fermentation for 36 hours and was dried on African beds indoors (temperatures kept between 14°C and 16°C).

This coffee has tasting notes of berries and caramel!

Try this coffee here (or maybe, try them all by clicking here). 

Lot #8

had open fermentation for 24 hours and was dried on African beds indoors (temperatures kept between 16°C and 18°C).

This coffee has tasting notes of sweet oranges and chocolate!

Try this coffee here (or maybe, try them all by clicking here). 

Lot #11

had open fermentation for 24 hours and was dried on African beds outdoors.

This coffee has tasting notes of brown sugar, orange and chocolate!

Try this coffee here (or maybe, try them all by clicking here). 

“During the last six years at Finca San Isidro, we have transitioned to good practices for harvesting, washing, drying and storage of our coffee beans… the only variable that we had not modified so far was fermentation, so I decided then, to make several tests!” explained Katia Duke on her motives.

Fermentation is the microbial reaction of yeasts and bacteria that breaks down the coffee fruit so that it can be washed away (leaving only the seed). During this process, the sugars and mucilage turn into acids that can add significant complexity and depth to the profile of a coffee.

The experiments Katia performed were to find the optimal timing, temperature, and airflow to increase quality and showcase the best of what her coffee can be.

After the coffee is fermented and then washed, it moves to the drying stage, where Duke prefers the raised (African) beds. These keep the cherries off the ground and allow air to circulate more easily.

“I do prefer drying on African beds. First of all, we have a beautiful and clean pergamino (parchment), the air-flow is slow, so the coffee bean loses moisture in a natural way (there is a lot of chemistry involved in this part). This prolongs the life of the coffee bean and its special characteristics, maintains stability and prolongs the activity of enzymes and vitamins.”

“Being a woman in this business dominated mostly by men has been a challenge any way you want to see it, from farm workers to the negotiating table. I have never surrendered, I educate myself constantly in everything related to coffee, and as you can see, I am also very curious and I like to have my very own results. My ultimate goal is to share this information with my friends, neighbouring coffee producers and anyone who wants to [learn from my] experience.”

 

Katia Duke Honduras holding a coffee Katia Duke Honduras drying coffee Katia Duke Honduras coffee Katia Duke Honduras coffee