Coffee Process: Anaerobic Fermentation
When the word “fermentation” appears, people will generally think of wine, yogurt, or even kimchi but coffee rarely comes to mind. But fermentation has always been fundamental to coffee.
In essence, fermentation refers to the breakdown process in which organic substances like starches and sugars are turned into simpler ones. Microorganisms like yeast and bacteria consume the sugars and other compounds in the coffee cherries and create byproducts of various acids, gases, and alcohol.
Once the coffee cherries are harvested, they will go through a process before they are put to dry. Commonly the coffee goes through either one of these three processing methods, namely, natural, washed, and semi-washed. This is where fermentation takes place.
Throughout the whole history of the washed coffee process, "fermentation" has been used by the farmers because it was an easy way to remove the sticky mucilage (which is water-soluble) from the coffee bean. Even during a Natural process, fermentation happens although at a lower rate.
Over the last couple of years, the term "Anaerobic Coffee" has taken the coffee world on a whirl. The rise of "Anaerobic Coffee" happened when fermentation was given a closer look. Which gave us a better understanding of the effects of fermentation on the taste of coffee.
Anaerobic fermentation happens when the coffee cherries are put into a limited oxygen environment—usually done by placing the harvested and pulped coffee bean into a sealed airtight stainless steel tank and left to ferment in an environment where the oxygen is limited. Fermentation time ranges from 12 hours to even days.
Coffee that went through Anaerobic fermentation is usually complex, unexpected, and wild. Flavour notes range from gingerbread, banana, cinnamon spice, and poached apple. Shop here if you're ready to try out wilder flavours in anaerobic fermented coffee.
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