Varietals Experiment: Year Two (Part 1 - Background on the experiment)

    Tuesday began the second year of experimenting with different varietals of coffee

    Six years ago, Cuatro M, along with Finca El Manzano, began searching out opportunities for experimentation. Having defined multiple factors that influenced the cup quality, we started taking steps toward different projects that would enable us to observe the extent of those factors, by isolating them within the coffee process, and measuring the results. 

    The El Manzano Project began by setting aside plots of land within the plantation, exclusively for experimentation, and was immediately following by the planting of multiple varietals of coffee, including Pacamara, Yellow Bourbon, and Red Bourbon, Kenya, & Acaia within designated areas of the plantation. Now, as some of those coffees are harvested from the plantation, we are able to process and observe the specific effects that altitude has on the different varietals of coffee. 

    The varietals experiment is one part of the whole project, but looks to examine the effects of planting different varietals within the same plot of the plantation. 

    For this experiment, we harvested Pacamara, Yellow Bourbon, and Red Bourbon, all from the same plot of the planation. The Kenya varietal was also harvested on the same day, however, comes from a slightly higher level of elevation on the plantation. 

    The experimentation part of this project lies in the fact that everything within the process of these coffees going from seed to cup in the same, fertilization, altitude, rainfall, shade, processing method, drying method, roasting profile, etc. 

    However, the one variable that is different is the varietal of coffee, which will enable us to determine the extent of the effect that elevation has on the final cup quality of each different varietal, having experienced the exact same conditions as each of the others harvested and processed.