Mexico Marco Cadena
Tasting Notes: Green Apple, Sour Cherry, Port Wine
Region: Atoyac de Álvarez, Guerrero
Farm: Finca Estancia
Process: Anaerobic Natural
Variety: Arabica, Tipica, Oro Azteca, Caturra, Bourbon, Colombia
Elevation: 1,150 masl
Importer: Cafe Imports, ACES program
This anaerobic natural comes to us from Marco Antonio Cadena Solis of Finca Estancia, a 40-hectare farm located in the city of Atoyac de Alvarez in Mexico's Guerrero region. Tropical rainforest gives roughly half the farm's coffee trees natural shade. We were lucky to source this coffee through Cafe Imports' ACES program. ACES is a small bag program meant to reward innovative producers and highlight their coffees that are particularly impressive.
Marco's approach in processing this coffee was experimental, and thus not without uncertainty, but the outcome is a highly unique cup of coffee. Marco started with only the ripest cherries then processed them with an anaerobic fermentation phase in sealed tanks with minimal oxygen and no water present for 92-120 hours. After this was complete, the cherries were transferred to a patio and underwent an extended natural drying phase of 17-20 days.
Anaerobic fermentation prior to drying is one of the latest trends in experimentation for post-harvest processing. The low-oxygen environment allows producers to extend and control the fermentation phase of processing and give the naturally occurring microbes more time to work their magic converting the sugars and acids in the coffee to different organic acids, CO2, ethyl alcohol and other compounds . The result of this is often the expression of fruited and candy-like sweetness. Many producers have begun experimenting with this process to add unique flavors to their coffees and increase their achievable cupping scores.
Marco's venture into this realm of processing has proven incredibly successful and has led to standout flavors of green apple and sour cherry that remind us of Jolly Rancher hard candies with a sweet, winey finish.