DMC are crazy beer geeks just like you. From our collaborations, to our packaging, etc, it's a fact that we love beer. Now we have taken things a step further and incorporated different fermentation using ingredients that make beer possible. These experimental processes are new to both the DMC inventory and the coffee community as a whole. Our goal is using a culinary approach to coffee, combined with knowledge, and fun, we learned from our many beer collaborations over the years. Now combining all that together, we are ready to introduce a new series of coffees that will satisfy even the biggest beer geek/coffee fanatic out there.
These releases will be a combination of single origin and blends, using hopped or yeast fermented coffee. (Just like the beer making process) The first two in the series, Citra hops and Saison yeast, were also released last year, with great success. This year's harvest is no different, yielding yet another round of delicious coffees.
Future releases will involve the following yeast or hops.
Crystal Hop Fermented Catuai
Beer Blend (Combining one yeast and one hop fermented coffee.)
Bohemian Weiss Yeast fermented Catuai
Hallertau Blanc Hop Fermented Catuai
Saison Fermented Catuai
Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a species of yeast primarily needed to produce beer, wine and bread. Because of the abilities of this microbe, Saccharomyces has become one of the most studied and cultivated organisms in the world.
Yeast, a type of fungi, is a single cell organism needed for coffee to be processed. To be clear, coffee fermentation doesn't need Saccharomyces, as there is a whole universe of other yeasts out there for fermentation. Fermentation tanks usually consist of a soup of microbes that also feed on coffee sugars and are almost always open air, and made of cement. Beer, wine and bread need the byproducts of yeast for them to be successful and gain complexity and flavor, while coffee does not. At the very least, coffee needs microbes to break down the sugary gelatinous layer of pectin surrounding a coffee bean to be dried properly. We've purposefully inoculated coffee fermentation tanks with Saccharomyces so we can layer the esters and acids it produces into the coffee.
When propagated, yeast will live the most amazingly simple life on the planet - it eats, it mates and sleeps in abundance, and if it's happy, that's all these critters will do their entire life. All yeast strains have slightly different preferences to be happy but overall they need:
-water with regulated temperature and pH
We've had great results from Saison yeast in the past. It's sturdy and not particularly fussy over its environment or *food*. Characteristics like this are ideal for us, due to the unruly and unpredictable nature of open-air fermentation tanks. Saison yeast produces esters and phenols that give saison beer their signature flavors - think bubblegum, banana or clove. As the coffee sits, it can absorb these flavors and take on a unique set of characteristics.
Once the saison yeast is active, we add it to the fermentation tank with freshly pulped coffee. This process fundamentally alters the ecosystem of the tank. The combined characteristics will stay present through the rest of processing, roasting and finally brewing.
Citra Hopped Catuai
We have played with hopping coffees using two processes. Currently, we send out iced coffee brewed with Citra hops, but this process is not related to this whole bean coffee.
In this process we added dry hops to freshly pulped coffee in a fermentation tank at the farm. Hops flowers have resin glands that produce bittering compounds that inhibit microbial production. The dissolved hops make a "marinade" for the coffee to ferment. Similarly to the saison yeast, the roasted coffee has a subtle layer of hop character, which should add juicy fruity qualities to the bean.