Coffee fermented in pineapple? Oh, yes! And it is quite tasty too! The pineapple process brings many benefits to coffee fermentation. Adding fruit helps produce yeasts and microbiomes that develop complex flavors that can be tasted in the coffee, but the juice from the pineapple can aid in adding extra sugars that are essential in the removal of mucilage surrounding the actual coffee bean. This mucilage contains cellulose, pectin and starch which can prolong the drying process of the coffee bean. If beans take too long to dry, mold can develop, leaving the coffee undesirable. At Progeny, we want all our coffee to be desirable, especially our new coffee: Piñita.
Piñita, which means small pineapple in Spanish, goes through a natural pineapple fermentation process at Finca Chambaku in Chinchina, Caldas, Colombia. Our coffee farmer Juan Felipe Restrepo and his team take special care and pay attention to each bean that goes into the fermentation mixture and drying process. Before the fermentation process begins, they take a sample of coffee cherries and evaluate the coffee’s pH and temperature levels. These readings are crucial in how the fermentation process will go. It is important to know how environmental factors can affect the end result of the coffee.
After the coffee has been fermented for some time, it is then transferred to drying beds made of bamboo. These coffee beds are built into three levels, which give the beans room to breathe. In order to dry faster, the coffee is then agitated with a shovel to help release any leftover water activity that may still be trapped. Once dried completely, beans are then taken to the milling facility where they are then processed, and manicured nicely for exporting.
The final product is for sure something you will want to enjoy. You will be surprised that the end result doesn’t taste much of pineapple, but you can definitely say pineapple was the catalyst that pushed delectable flavors to the forefront of this coffee. Flavors that are being presented to you range from vanilla, tropical fruit and guava, but it doesn’t stop there. So, please, take some time to try this coffee today and take your palate on an unforgettable journey it will thank you for later. Enjoy, and as always, thank you for supporting our farmer’s hard work and dedication to the craft.
Look inside Juan Felipe's farm and his Pineapple Process: