On Thursday, January 5th, the El Manzano Project Varietal Experiment continued, as workers began harvesting the varietal coffees for a second time.
In the first element of the experiment, four varieties of coffee, Kenya, Yellow Bourbon, Red Bourbon, and Pacamara, were harvested the same day, December 6, 2011; and each processed with the Full Natural method.
Now, one month later, the same varietals were harvested, again on the same day, however, this time, were each processed using the Mechanically Washed method.
As they dry on the patio, we now await their roasting and cupping, which will be performed side by side with the other same varietals, processed one month earlier.
Performing this cupping will enable us to first, highlight the extent of the differences between the varietals, processed with different methods. Secondly, we will identify which processing method maintains the true terroir, or uniqueness of the coffees.
Being different varieties of coffee, each should contain a uniqueness in its flavor and aroma, however, it is often proposed that the natural processing method, mutes this distinctness, and therefore, although adding complexity, takes away from what makes the coffee truly unique.
Cupping all four varieties, processed two different ways, side by side will permit us to consider that claim, and analyze the extent to which the machine washed method brings out the terroir in each coffee, and if the natural processing method truly mutes the terroir in each cup.