We just roasted our first Mt. Totumas Cloud Forest, Panama coffee mini harvest! Two lots of Catuai coffee from the same trees processed slightly different ways. In the first, the coffee cherries were fermented with the fruit still attached and in the second fermented after depulping. The picture on the right is the coffee cherries being depulped.
The flavor profile is definitely a Panamanian coffee. It's amazing how just region makes such a difference even with the same coffee variety. As soon as we roasted the coffee it was obvious that this coffee was from Panama. Some specific flavor notes are... mild with some pronounced lemon acidity with chocolate notes in the background.
Funny enough, the 1st batch turned out to be the better tasting of the two. All of us expected it to taste a little strange in comparison, but turned out to be more complex of the two. Even though it seems to have worked better, it's risky to process this way because there is a very good chance of defects from bad fermentation. Fermenting with the coffee fruit is much more sensitive and prone to quickly going bad. So if we do choose to experiment more with this style of processing, will have to be very careful and attentive during this part of the processing. I think we do need to do more processing and roasting before we really start to determine what the best overall route is going to be. I have only roasted a tiny batch of each and they came out a little different. As I get to know the coffee a little better and figure out a few nuances, it will help us know more of what to do too.
Green bean moisture content of the 1st batch is 16.2% (This is much too high, but made it so far without molding). 2nd batch is 11.8% (perfect! And we don't even have a moisture meter on the farm yet!!!)
The samples are definitely lend themselves to being specialty grade quality and are very tasty. Not quite yet in the highest range, but we will get there with a little more work and experience. After roasting the coffee the beans were extremely mottled. Panamanian coffees can be mottled some, but usually less than pictured. I'm wondering if it's a product of processing or if it's because the coffee plants are still quite immature? Maybe we have a new mutant variety of coffee. Ha! There were also massive amounts of chaff, so that might have affected the roasting too not to mention moisture content of the green beans. All of this should resolve it's self as we learn more and get better at processing and the trees mature.
Overall this first harvest and sample roast was quite a success and we are very pleased with the progress we are making on the family coffee farm in Mt. Totumas Cloud Forest, Panama. Let's keep up the good work.
It's very cool to be drinking some Mt. Totumas coffee!