Sundried coffee, also known as natural processed, is similar to a raisin. What? You may ask, does coffee and a raisin have in common. Well, read on my friend.
Coffee beans are actually seeds of a coffee cherry. The seeds take up most of the cherry, so there is not a lot of pulp. The layers of a coffee cherry include: seed, silver skin (chaff), parchment, pectin, pulp and finally outer skin. In a washed coffee, the skin, pulp and pectin are removed from the seeds before they are dried. In a sundried coffee, as you might imagine, the whole enchilada is just dried. This may sound easier than it actually is.
It sounds pretty easy to just dry the fruit, right? Either leave it on the trees to dry; or pluck it off, and put it on the patio for a few weeks. Yes, you can do that. But the coffee will not taste good, and it may even be packed with mold. No thank you. To properly be sundried, the coffee cherries are picked when they are plump and ripe. They are put on raised beds to a depth no thicker than a few inches. The cherries are rotated every few hours to make sure they are evenly dried. This takes weeks until the coffee cherries are dark, dried and shriveled up. When properly tended to, these coffees are not dangerous to drink, as some have speculated.
A properly sundried coffee not only has the flavor characteristics of the seed, but the sweetness and complexity of the fruit too. The additional flavor notes can include sweet berries, florals, grapes, port wine, and a big body. Now, that sounds amazing! Not everyone likes sundried coffees, but we have always loved them. This year, we are featuring two sundried coffees in our Sundried Coffee Series.
Sundried Coffee Series
We are featuring two coffees in this box series:
Ethiopia from Sidama Coffee Farmer’s Co-op. This coffee is a classic Ethiopian sundried coffee. It bursts with notes of grapes, lavender, black tea. The co-op represents 53 village processing centers, nearly 80,000 growers. The work they do in Ethiopia representing the small share-holder farmer is life-changing.
Honduras from Omar Rodriguez La Antena finca. We travelled down to Capucas in Honduras for the annual micro-lot competition, Tevan a Conocer Compa. Omar is the co-op manager and this is the first year we have purchased his coffee. We fell in love with this sundried coffee. Even though Omar did not produce very many bags, we were able to scoop up a few.