Coffee, one of our favorite pastimes! We love it so much that we talk about it here on the blog very regularly, hopefully, you’re enjoying the extra education and that morning brew is starting to taste like something more than “just coffee” at this point (: Being that we’ve covered most of the brewing side, we now wanted to discuss some things on the processing side. Micah and I typically shoot for Ethiopian coffees and we know we can always count on Sextant Coffee to have the perfect blend! Their new water-friendly coffees that are being released is something we’re super excited about, and I know you will be too by the time you’re finished reading what it is that makes these coffees so special & delicious!
To start you off with a few fundamentals, what are water-friendly coffees? Well, there are two options when processing coffee, the natural process (also known as water-friendly) or the washed process. The natural process keeps the coffee cherry intact during drying, while in the washed process the bean is separated from the cherry before the processing begins. In countries such as Ethiopia where there may be little access to water, it’s more beneficial and environmentally friendly for them to use the natural process when harvesting coffee.
The way the natural processed coffees are done is by picking the coffee cherries, sorting out the bad ones and spreading the cherries out in the sun to dry. Now, the natural process is challenging and requires some mad coffee skills to dry the coffee evenly. The farmers that use the natural process must constantly flip and monitor the cherries as they dry. Being that the cherry part of the bean is not removed before drying (unlike during the washed process) this tends to produce a more fruity coffee, as the cherry dries on the bean. That being the main factor that adds to the amplified flavors of water-friendly coffees. Since the cherry dries around the coffee bean, the bean absorbs the fruity flavors of the cherry skin. This tends to amplify the fruitiness of the coffee and makes for a super flavorful experience!
With water-friendly coffees having such amplified flavors it makes them great coffees for tastings and pairings! Even if you just want it for simple brewing purposes they’re delicious coffees to start the morning off with as well. Today Micah and I decided to taste Sextant Coffee Roasters’ Yirgacheffe Heirloom, which of course is an Ethiopian coffee (: Now, if we’re brewing a coffee for the first time we typically go with the Chemex method to get a feel for the coffee. For a step by step guide, feel free to check out our Chemex Brew Guide!
To add a little fun to the tasting we paired it with some of our favorite local chocolate! With the Yirgacheffe having more fruity notes such as blueberry and raspberry we found it went very nicely with a 70% Madagascar chocolate we picked up from Dandelion Chocolate. A sip of the Yirgacheffe and a nibble of chocolate made the coffee tasting super enjoyable and exciting! Comparing the fruit notes from each item and how they blended together was quite an experience for us. An example of how much fun water-friendly coffees can be and just how delicious they are!
In case you’re interested in trying out your own tasting & pairing, you can download the Cupper app and get 10% off any of Sextant’s water friendly coffee’s using the code SPARKING.
Not only are our friends over at Sextant Coffee Roasters environmentally friendly, but they also produce some of the tastiest coffees we’ve ever had! If you’re in the area stop by their cafe sometime and see what these “water-friendly” coffees are all about. You might even run into Micah & I working on more fun things for you all to read! Remember if you’re not local, you can still try some of these amazing coffees, check out their selection on Cupper and get 10% off any of their water-friendly coffees! As always, thanks for reading, friends!
*Thank you to Sextant Coffee Roasters for providing samples of their delicious coffees, as well as being one of our local go-to coffee spots!