Jairo Arcila (Passionfruit Fermentation) is our eighth Map Series coffee, and our second from this producer. Jairo is one of the leading speciality coffee producers in Colombia, devoting much time and resource to producing fantastic quality coffee, in particular the use of experimental processing techniques such as this.
The coffee itself is highly refreshing and clean. Its tropical fruit sweetness and rounded milky smoothness remind us of sorbet, garnished with a gentle rosy highnote. Delicate yet vibrant, complex yet incredibly drinkable, it’s a coffee of multitudes that will satisfy coffee adventurers of every calibre.
What is the Map Series?
The Map Series is the jewel in our crown: a range of unique single origin coffees each with a story to tell.
We source each coffee carefully and considerately, choosing lots that showcase exciting flavour profiles, innovative producers, experimental processing techniques, and unsung origins of the speciality coffee industry.
By releasing each coffee one at a time, roasted in extra small batches and subject to rigorous ongoing quality control, we maximise the outstanding flavour potential of each coffee to truly take you on a magnificent journey.
We began the Map Series two years ago, and in that time we’re proud to say we’ve released some absolutely stunning coffee under its banner. Map #8 is no exception. Buy it here or continue reading to find out why!
The Producer: Jairo Arcila
Jairo Arcila is a third generation coffee producer from Quindio, Colombia. Jairo worked as Mill Manager at one of Colombia’s largest coffee exporters for forty years before retiring in 2019. During this time he bought his first farm, Finca La Esmeralda, growing Caturra lots while working full time at the mill. Since then, he has acquired five additional farms and continues to provide significant employment to the community during harvests.
Jairo has two sons, Carlos and Felipe Arcila. Together they are speciality coffee experts and founders of Cofinet, a speciality coffee exporter in Colombia. Through his sons Jairo has received advice and guidance in vastly improving the picking, sorting and processing of his coffees, the results of which can be tasted in this cup.
The eagle-eyed among you will notice we sourced our seventh Map Series coffee from Jairo too. This time, instead of strawberry fermentation, the coffee underwent passionfruit fermentation, and the flavour difference is staggering. Read on to learn more about this exciting processing technique.
The Process: Dry Anaerobic Fermentation with Wine Yeast & Passionfruit
All coffee undergoes some degree of fermentation; the process begins as soon as the cherries are picked, when the sugars and acids contained within the mucilage begin to break down, and accelerates during the processing of the green coffee.
Increasingly speciality coffee producers are paying more attention to the ways in which fermentation can be stretched, experimenting with different variables in order to produce more unique and interesting coffees. Factors such as how long the coffee is left to ferment, or how oxygen-rich the atmosphere is, can lead coffees to develop more distinct flavour profiles and add value to the crop - when done carefully and with expertise, that is.
Jairo Arcila (Map #8) uses a combined anaerobic fermentation and fruit fermentation approach. The lot was fermented anaerobically with pulped passionfruit and wine yeast for 72 hours, then pulped and dried alongside more passionfruit pulp on raised beds until the ideal moisture content was reached.
The introduction of fruit to a coffee’s fermentation is a relatively new trend, which some find a little controversial (See this article by Perfect Daily Grind to learn more). Fruit fermentation in coffee is an experimental way to produce exotic flavour profiles and high cupping scores when done well; but without tight controls and close monitoring can lead to a poor tasting (yet expensive) coffee.
We can safely say in this instance that the experiment was a success - its fermentation undoubtedly lends the brewed coffee a very tropical, passionfruit-forward profile, with an enhanced sweetness and complexity as a result of the anaerobic conditions.