*Wild cup with plenty of ferment notes
We found a new source for some very cool Haitian coffees. The folks working on the ground in Haiti live right here in Madison, Wisconsin (at least some of them), they are called Singing Rooster. Singing Rooster is a non-profit that brings Haitian products (art, coffee, cocoa and more) direct to consumers and stores with 100% of the proceeds funneling back to the farmers and communities in Haiti. One cannot argue with more money and assistance getting to the farmers and communities. Sure, its good to feel good about the beans you buy but something just as important or even more important is the product itself; the coffee is beautiful, the quality of prep and consistency of the beans is up easily a couple of notches over the last couple of Haitians we had. Way cleaner cup that we have seen before and for the same price, with more money getting to the farmers and communities. A win-win in anyone’s book.
Almost every farmer is now experimenting with honey and natural processed coffees. They are the more sustainable route to go, using less fresh water to process the beans. There is a huge diversity of flavors honey and natural processed coffees can produce. This cup is a perfect example of a ferment natural; when one does natural processing and really slows down the dry time, that’s where they get exotic. the beans ferment in the coffee fruit and bring some wonderful exotic tones to the cup; with being exotic, realize some love this, some hate this.
A brighter and wilder cup for sure. Lemongrass and floral upfront with some very nice red fruit notes, on the sweeter side and balanced with a bakers chocolate like earthiness (a good contrast) found in the other Haitian coffees. Lighter roasts will let the exotic profile shine but be pretty punchy with a slight risk of grassy tones if you get a couple beans too close to first crack. Medium roasts were our favorite for its more balanced; a pronounced darker tone along with the more exotic floral and fruit, a little fuller bodied. Darker roasts touching 2nd crack are far less fruity and hold more true to the Haitian profile, a little floral acidity still comes through the cup but strong and smoky with almost no hint of being a ferment natural.
Generally a light to strong medium roast coffee but from our group tasting, somebody liked it at almost every roast. Ferment naturals will always roast uneven. To extend the dry, one had to pile them up and/or not flip them often on the drying patios. This causes uneven drying. Some beans will roast a little quicker, some a little slower. When roasting these guys, I always judge them by the darker roast beans. try to keep those before 2nd crack. If doing a quick roast and follow those rules, you may want to flick out anything still clearly before 1st crack or risk some grassy tones. Good to let it setup a little longer at the lighter roast points.