If you keep up with the specialty coffee industry, even just a little, you probably heard about Stone Creek Coffee’s cool new package idea: one coffee processed three different ways. Might sound gimmicky, but this has been one of the most insightful packages of roasted coffee I’ve ever received!
The Guatemala San Sebastian Box Set includes three 8oz bags of a single coffee from Finca San Sebastian from Antigua, Guatemala. Each of the three bags holds the same bean, but feature different processing methods: washed, semi-washed, and natural.
I’ve been wanting to experience the unique differences in flavor that processing can enable for a while, so grabbing this case study was a no-brainer for me. Here’s what I discovered after an afternoon of exploring!
For experiencing these coffees I decided to choose a method relatively new to me – I’ve actually only had it for less than a week: the Gino Dripper. Though I still have much testing to do to hone in my skills with this three-hole, flat bottom dripper, I’ve found a method that works fairly well.
20g coffee (medium) – 300g water – 2:35 total time
50g bloom for 30s – 50g pulse pours till 300g
I admit to still being a novice taster. Though my palate has improved an incredible amount in the last year, I have still much to learn, many flavors and aromas to experience and identify. Here were my impressions:
Washed – Bright and juicy from the start. Lemon and citrus. Very mild acidic finish. Light body.
Natural – Blackberry is obvious even by the aroma. More body and complexity than the washed. Balanced and gentle. As it cools, blueberry comes to the center stage.
Semi Washed – Bright up front, very similar to the washed. Dark chocolate crawls its way in. Blueberry as it cools, although not as clearly as the natural.
My favorite was the natural processed. That blackberry-turned-blueberry was absolutely stunning. Both other coffees were enjoyable, but deserve a bit more playing with. I am confident that I’ll be able to capture and comprehend their flavors more fully in a matter of time. I still have roughly 200-400g of each coffee, so more testing is to come. If I discover anything more, I’ll let you know.
I’m not a palate genius like Cortney Kern at BaristaManiac.com but I’m slowly learning the ropes.
I’ve been brewing the natural processed coffee all week, but I figured the other two coffees deserved another side-by-side comparison. I spent a few minutes brewing a cup of each with a slightly different Gino recipe using coarser grounds and 10 – 15 less seconds. Although I would still say the method isn’t perfect, it allowed me to reaffirm my previous conclusions.
The natural wins.
Tomorrow I’ll be sending out this cute postcard that Stone Creek Coffee sent (postage included!) with the coffee. Well done, San Sebastian Farm. Keep up the good work!