Interesting recent articles on infused coffees, carbonic maceration, etc.

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
baldheadracing
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#1: Post by baldheadracing »

First, Sasa Sestic's article attacking infused coffee: https://www.beanscenemag.com.au/why-tra ... d-coffees/

Christopher Feran's reaction-post. Worth reading the comments as well. Some heavy hitters in there, including Sasa and Aida Batlle:
https://christopherferan.com/2021/09/15 ... ed-coffees

ETA: This article is also part of the kerfuffle, but to me it reads like an advertisement for ONA coffee/Project Origin: https://perfectdailygrind.com/2021/08/i ... mentation/

Acavia

#2: Post by Acavia »

I tend to not like natural processed coffee nor anaerobic processed ones, but if infused with oils, or other plants or fruits, I am concerned the resulting coffee could taint a coffee grinder.

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zefkir

#3: Post by zefkir » replying to Acavia »

Do read the articles first. Feran's answer is particularly insightful.

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yakster
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#4: Post by yakster »

I ran across a Cup Of Excellence Instagram post several days ago and they're getting ready to release a Taza talk on Adulteration in Coffee. One of the panelists is Sasa Sestic. I suppose one if the issues with this could be food allergies triggered by the special processing of the coffee.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CUGHkiRs1HP ... _copy_link

The comments on the posts get a bit heated.

I checked the Cup of Excellence Youtube page and it appears that the talk hasn't been released yet.

-Chris

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ojt

#5: Post by ojt »

All this just makes me want to start roasting myself. Important discussion to have IMO, and I wish I knew more details of the processing (and could trust those details) when I buy coffee.
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jdrobison

#6: Post by jdrobison »

I cringe whenever I hear someone demand transparency through regulation (e.g. labeling laws) and I really appreciated this comment from the author of the second article:

But sure: we'll leave it to someone who has a vested, corporate interest in regulating the space to dictate that coffee grown in Panama and fermented with a strain of yeast cultured from a vineyard in France is an "unnatural product"

Supporters of regulation are primarily those who have the most to gain by limiting their competition, which I think is what is happening in the first article. Sometimes the appeal for regulation is made under the guise of "protecting the little guy", such as this quote from the third article:

One of my biggest concerns is that farmers who are growing their coffee in extreme conditions and cultivating rare and expensive varieties could miss out in the future because of these infused coffees. At the same time, there are brewers and baristas who understand how to perfectly extract an espresso shot, but lose out to infused coffees that score perfectly in aroma and flavour.

First of all, it's nobody's job to create a fair playing field for competition. If someone has a product that consumers enjoy more, so be it - it's up to producers, manufactures, etc... to figure out how to appeal to their market. Second, these efforts to protect the little guy will backfire as they often do, when the farmer, in this case, does end up developing a new process but can't afford to comply with the regulations that were intended to protect him. Third, if a brewer or barista "loses out' to an infused coffee, that's the market saying that they prefer one product over another. That's how it works best. Perhaps the brewer or barista needs to learn to perfectly extract an infused coffee now and deliver a more desirable product.

If we want transparency, that should come from us as consumers demanding it from the provider, not in the form of regulation. If a provider isn't honest with me about what's in the product, I won't buy it. I'm willing and able to do the research and to only purchase and consume a product that meets my requirements. By demanding "transparency" through regulation, we're simply creating barriers that limit competition by making it too difficult for new and better products to enter the market. I'm loving the cinnamon processed coffee that I'm currently drinking and I'm thankful that the farmer was able to bring it to market without being stifled by the high costs of regulation.

baldheadracing (original poster)
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#7: Post by baldheadracing (original poster) »

CoE talk referenced by Yakster above. 1:11 long

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mbbrew

#8: Post by mbbrew »

I bought two fruit fermented coffees that were advertised as such and they were very pleasant, if not something I would drink every day. I think as long as it is as advertised as such there is nothing wrong with the process, and it is fundamentally different than adding flavor post-processing or roasting. Altering the fermentation is an "honest" way of adding flavor to me since you can create new flavors that would not occur in the original fruit, or the coffee, as opposed to infusing with oils with an artificial flavor. I have noticed a few coffees with strong cinnamon notes, and have seen some with that as the first tasting note on the bag and it made me wonder about infusing earlier in the process though.

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yakster
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#9: Post by yakster »

baldheadracing wrote:CoE talk referenced by Yakster above. 1:11 long

video
Thanks for posting this, I'd forgotten to go back and look for it. I thought it was a fairly balanced discussion with Sasa Sestic getting a bit excited a few times. I guess we'll see if the coffee jurists come up with a set of guidelines that will be imposed on coffee producers regarding coffee processing disclosures.
-Chris

LMWDP # 272