top of page

Perception of Simplifying Coffee

Hello, I am Atahan, today I would like to talk to you about a subject that is actually very prominent and discussed but we cannot elaborate on it.

I would like to talk about Infused and Co-fermented coffees. I would like to talk about to what extent the coffees obtained by this processing method, which have become the favourite of the end users in the last period, are accepted and how we comment on the evaluation side. What I will say are my personal observations and thoughts.

Especially at the İzmir coffee festival, I noticed that these types of coffees are in great demand by end users. In the Perfect Daily Grind page "Infused vs. co-fermented coffee: Is there a difference?", Rodrigo Sánchez Valencia, who invented the Co-Fermented process, explains the process in his interview. However, I think the main thing to pay attention to in that interview is what Vicente Mejia, the founder of Clearpath Coffee, said.

He says that Q graders and roasters, who usually have years of training and developed palates, can sometimes feel that infused and co-fermented coffees lack depth. He explains that while professional people feel this way, some people seem to forget that it is not them who will buy and consume the coffee, but the casual drinker who may enjoy trying coffees with flavour profiles that are easier to enjoy.

This shows that the industry is divided on this issue. The most important point in Vicente Mejia's statement is that it clearly shows who these coffees appeal to and for what purpose these processes are carried out.

"Co-fermented coffees can offer end consumers a fun tasting experience, allowing them to appreciate the nuances of flavour and learn about the fermentation process," he says.

"This is particularly beneficial for those without extensive training or knowledge of coffee, as it offers a more accessible option to try something new and special."

The above statement suggests that infused and co-fermented coffees are more for the casual drinker, rather than for those with extensive training and an orientation towards development, with a more simplistic perception, outside the focus of the experience. In my opinion, he is absolutely right about this.

In the recent cuppings we have done, what we feel common in such coffees is basically just a chemical or unripe fruit bitterness and of course the character of whatever is infused or pre-cultivated.

If we come to the professional evaluation part, what do we encounter? If there are such beans on the table where we apply the "cupping" protocol, something caught my attention.

When we evaluate other coffees, we fully apply the protocol. What does this mean? While we fully evaluate the cup in terms of dry, wet aromas, flavour, aftertaste, acidity, sweetness and mouthfeel, in infused and co-fermented coffees, we talk about the dry, wet aromas, the intensity of the bitterness and, of course, the flavour of whatever it has been processed with.

In fact, we push aside the complexity that we want from coffee and many gastronomy products. We simplify ourselves to improve ourselves in evaluating the product we produce or the product we buy.

Of course, this type of process brings one more issue to the forefront: Transparency and access to accurate information about the process by the roaster and transferring it to the end user.

Vicente Mejia, founder of Clearpath Coffee, explains: "They can say that they have achieved these flavour profiles with more traditional processing techniques and new technologies," he says, "which is dishonest and creates a number of problems."

He is absolutely right, and unfortunately, some companies can get confused when communicating the details of infused and co-fermented coffees, or they can be ambiguous and misleading.

While the sector and technology are developing so much, there is of course no possibility that coffee processing methods will not develop. However, it does not seem right to me to be able to convey this correctly and to do this only with commercial logic. And most importantly, like the big chain companies that we have criticized for years, downgrading the perception to standards and simplicity and spreading a culture that is far from transparency will take us backwards.

33 views0 comments


bottom of page