Dear coffee subscriber,
October has arrived and your subscription coffee has just left our roastery. This month, we have some exciting natural coffees from Tatmara Coffee Plantation along with a Caturra & Variedad Colombia coffee from Finca Tamana.
Tatmara is one of the most beautiful coffee plantations I have ever been to and I personally believe that the coffees in this month’s subscription are so complex, full of flavour and easy to extract, not only because of the cultivar that are grown, but also because they grow slowly under shade trees in very healthy soils in their native environment.
2021 was another great year for quality with good growing conditions that resulted in an overall high quality of the coffees from Tamana. A fun fact is that during the whole 2021 harvest, all the coffees were carefully processed by my good friend, and also the 2021 world barista champion, Mr. Diego Campos. As you might expect, Diego has an extreme attention to details and I think it really showed in the quality and consistency of all the lots we cupped and bought in 2021.
Tatmara Coffee Plantation – 1st & 4th bag + 3rd & 6th bag
Tatmara Natural – 74110
(1st & 4th bag)
Floral, tropical fruits & strawberries
Dakiti, Kaffa, Ethiopia
Tatmara Natural – 74112
(3rd & 6th bag)
Ripe mango, red grapes & strawberries
Dakiti, Kaffa, Ethiopia
Tatmara is one of the most beautiful coffee plantations I have ever been to. The coffee grows inside a native forest full of old native trees, spice plants, shrubs and wildlife. Negussie does not apply any mineral fertilisers or agrochemicals to his farm and weed control is done manually. Still, the trees are healthy and producing well which is most likely due to the healthy forest soils that are rich in soil biology that provide the trees with nutrients. I personally believe that these coffees are so complex, full of flavour and easy to extract not only because of the cultivar that are grown but because they grow slowly under shade trees in very healthy soils in their native environment. (After all the arabica coffee trees are native to the forests of Kaffa. )
Of course the natural process also contributes with extra fruity flavours and as you may know I am normally not the biggest fan of natural processed coffees. This is because they are really difficult to produce well, especially in regions that have rain showers during the harvest, and I often find that natural processed coffees have overpowering «funky» flavours of fermented fruit due to uncontrolled fermentation during drying. If not produced well, I also often find a pea-nutty flavour in the aftertaste that can come from uneven ripeness of the cherries.
Having said that, I do like very clean and precise natural processed coffees and when done well with the right cultivars they can taste very juicy and fruity in a refreshing way. The coffees from Tatmara are a good example of a natural processed coffee that I really like. Negussie has been trained really well by the Belco team on how to process and dry the coffees and the results is a really clean and tasty natural processed coffee with ripe flavours of tropical fruits and strawberries.
Negussie has mainly planted two different cultivars named 74110 and 74112 on his farm that he separates when picking and processing his coffees. Both cultivars are selections made by the Jimma Agricultural Research Center (JARC) and although they have very similar qualities, there are some subtle nuances in the flavour profile.
The two cultivars begin with the number “74” that indicates their cataloging and selection in 1974.
The 74110 cultivar was selected from an original “mother tree” in the Bishari village of the Metu Province in the Illuababora zone. After research in their field laboratory (coffee farm) in Jimma, the JARC researchers found the cultivar to be resistant to coffee berry disease and to have a high yield potential. JARC released the cultivar in 1979 as a new and improved cultivar and since then it has become one of the most popular cultivars in Ethiopia known for its floral and citric flavour profile.
Cultivar 74112 also originates in the Metu-Bishari forest and was similarly released in 1979 for its resistance to coffee berry disease and high yield potential. Like the 74110 it is also among the most commonly planted cultivar in Ethiopia today, especially on recently established farms in the southern, southwestern and western coffee-growing parts of Ethiopia.
Finca Tamana Caturra & Variedad Colombia – 2nd & 5th bag
Sweet chocolate, caramel & red fruits
June – August 2021
El Pital, Huila, Colombia
Caturra & Variedad Colombia
When Elias Roa bought Finca Tamana in 2011, most of the farm was planted with the two cultivars Caturra and Variedad Colombia. Since then, the Caturra trees have been attacked by leaf rust almost every year and the quality and production has therefore been a bit up and down. The Variedad Colombia is resistant to leaf rust and has consistently been tasting better compared to the Caturra over the years. That is why we have recommended Elias to replant most of his Caturra trees with either resistant hybrid cultivars or better tasting traditional cultivars like Bourbon and SL28.
There are still some Caturra left on the farm and probably always will be, but since the production is very small and the flavour is very similar to the Variedad Colombia, we are normally blending the two based on harvest date and quality. In general the lots we buy from Tamana are mixed like this because separating them in to daily pickings is normally not practical in terms of milling, packing, etc. I still feel that we are able to preserve the uniqueness in these coffees and this lot is an excellent example of the «standard» quality from Tamana.
2021 was another great year for quality with good growing conditions that resulted in an overall high quality of the coffees from Tamana.
In addition to good growing conditions Elias changed the process slightly based on experiments we have done together with Diego Campos.
He is now fermenting his coffees in cherry for 16-20 hours prior to de-pulping the coffee. After de-pulping, the coffee continues to ferment in stainless steel tanks for another 24 hours before the parchment is washed by using a mechanical mucilage remover. Still the coffees are soaked in clean water overnight before they get dried under shade. This slight tweak in process has brought out a bit more fruity flavours in the coffee. The coffee in this bag is from the smaller screen size (screen 15-16) and we separate the sizes from the bigger ones in order to get a more even roast development that gives us a sweeter and cleaner cup profile.
A fun fact is that during the whole 2021 harvest, all the coffees were carefully processed by Elias’ son in law, my good friend and also the 2021 world barista champion, Mr. Diego Campos. Diego worked closely with Elias during the whole harvest and as you might expect, he has an extreme attention to details. I think it really showed in the quality and consistency of all the lots we cupped and bought in 2021.