Roast Coffee Pairing #10: Raisin Coffee

Raisin coffee is a term for dry-processing, where the coffee is allowed to dry (partially or wholy) on the tree, before it is picked. It is only possible in a few coffee growing areas where the weather changes dramatically, where the dry season starts when the coffee is ripe on the tree. In the past, picking dried coffee from the tree was reserved for the end of the season, when all coffee cherries, ripe or not, dried or not, are “strip-picked” off the branches indiscriminately. This is called the Repela, or Rebusca in some places, the final harvest, and the quality of this coffee is very low. But a true Raisin coffee is picked with care, choosing only uniformily “tree-dried” cherries that have a raisin-like brown appearance. The cherries are then carefully sorted to remove defect or under-ripe coffee. A true Raisin coffee takes a lot of work. We have two lots from Brazil, one that is a special project on a designated plot of a larger fazenda, the Brazil Moreninha Formosa Raisin Coffee Microlot. The other is from a very large coffee farming operation, not a micro-lot at all: Brazil Ipanema Tree-Dry Process. The fruity flavors associated with tree-dry coffee, from the longer contact the fruit and skin has with the coffee seed inside, is much more apparent in the Moreninha, but both feature heavy body, low acidity, chocolate roast taste, and a very pleasurable tasting experience.  As for the roast level, I really tried to push the Ipanema right up to the Full City+ level with a few snaps of second crack heard as the beans hit the cooling tray, this ended up being nearly 450 degrees by thermoprobe.  For the Moreninha I wanted to ensure that the fruitiness was still evident so I ended those batches safely in the Full City range at 445 degrees.  Since I was roasting slightly smaller batches than normal the roast times were right around 14 minutes.

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3 Responses to “Roast Coffee Pairing #10: Raisin Coffee”

  1. 1 larrylr

    Thank you so much for doing this, the idea is just great. These are two of the most unusual coffees we have ever tasted. When I started this journey with you years ago, I learned that coffee actual had taste…lol. Since then I have had the pleasure of roasting my own and experimenting and tasting your roasted coffees. I have to admit that if you ever stop offering your awesome artwork from your roaster it will be the worst day of my life. Anyway, back to the raisin coffees. I had the misfortune, turned fortune of having my coffee maker died in the middle of first sample. I switched to my technivorm and the coffee tasted totally different. A bit too strong and almost burned in flavor. Hummm, interesting. My Capresso thermal finally arrived after a much anticipated wait and the coffee took on very subtle delightful flavors that matched your comments more closely. I’m having fun, please do this as long as you can stand it LOL. I love it! For those not with us on this journey, it is worth it!

  2. 2 mmmcoffee

    I thank you for having these roasting pairings. It’s a great way
    to truly appreciate the coffee regions. Now, as for these raisin
    beauties….Wonderful! I french pressed both. The Ipanema was more sweeter and syrupy in body than the Moreninha Formosa. The Moreninha did have more pronounced fruit and attained a slightly sweet profile upon cooling. Both of these tree-dried coffees were a wonderful drinking experience.
    In closing, I’ll quote from larrylr: “I’m having fun, please do this as long as you can stand it LOL. I love it! For those not with us on this journey, it is worth it!”

  3. 3 thompson owen

    Thanks for the thoughtful comments. It is fun to taste these side-by-side and aside from roasting your own, the opportunity to taste like this is quite rare. I like the brewing tweaks going on here too: we didn’t anticipate that people would be trying different methods to evaluate these coffees, but its a great idea! -tom

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