Finca Monteverde Anaerobic Honey Wush Wush


The Story - 
The Gutierrez family have been growing in Colombia for five generations, moving to the southern part of Tolima three generations ago. And it is here that the family have taken coffee production to the next level. About 10 years ago, after seeing the success of rare and unique varieties of coffee in Panama, they decided to plant some of these varieties themselves - Gesha, Wush Wush, and Mocca.
Taking it a step further, the Gutierrez's decided to do much more than just plant unique varieties. They decided to take the processing of their coffee to the next level, too, going so far as to get certified by the Q-Processing course. This course has also allowed them to help train other coffee producers in processing their coffee, helping to improve quality at much more than their own farm. The Gutierrez family really has been a force in Colombian coffee production, and we're really excited to be able to offer some of their coffee.   
Nerdy Coffee Stuff - 
There are several reasons that this coffee tastes so incredible, so let's dive into them. 
Microclimate - Finca Monteverde sits at the bottom of a valley, at an altitude of 1850m. Here, they are surrounded by steep hillsides, and, almost every evening, a thick fog rolls in over these hills, engulfing the farm. This fog, combined with the high altitude of the farm, lead to strain being put on the coffee plants that grow here, forcing their cherries to ripen very slowly and develop more sugar, meaning more sweetness and increased aromatics in our cup. 
Variety - The Wush Wush variety is an heirloom variety of coffee, most likely originating around the town of Wush Wush in Western Ethiopia. It was brought over to Central America sometime in the 1930s for research purposes but wasn't planted much commercially until much later. It's a fickle plant with low-yields, making it tricky to produce, but often the flavours in the cup make it worth it. Now, it's celebrated for bringing with it many of the flavours we love about coffee from its home country, with big florals and fruit flavours, and a wonderful, creamy body. 
Process - This coffee was processed in a somewhat unusual and experimental way: anaerobic honey process. This process begins with ripe coffee cherries being picked from the trees, and then being brought straight to the processing facility. Here, the whole cherries are placed into GrainPro bags (a large, plastic bag often used for storing green coffee), where they are sealed off from oxygen. In these bags, they are left to ferment for 60 hours, but the lack of oxygen specifically causes lactic bacteria to form in the coffee. This imparts big floral and spice flavours to the coffee, as well as contributing to it's creamy, almost yoghurt-like mouthfeel. After this fermentation is finished, the coffee is depulped and left to dry with the mucilage still intact. 
All of these details come together to create a flavour experience that truly is one-of-a-kind. 
Transparency - 
We bought this coffee directly from the Gutierrez family. We bought 110lbs and paid $22.00 / lb. Upon arrival, this coffee cupped at a staggering 90! 
 
- The commodity price of coffee upon purchase was $1.04 / lb. 
*We are pricing this coffee at just above what it cost us to purchase, roast and bag it. If you have any questions about how we arrived at the price we did, please reach out to sam@switchbackcoffeeroasters.com, and we are more than happy to break down all of our costs. 
Brewing Information - 
We are absolutely in love with this coffee in almost all brew methods! Our very own Nicholai Elkins even used this coffee to qualify for the US Brewers Cup Championships using the Kalita Wave!
We love to brew this coffee using the Kalita Wave, as it really helps to highlight the creamy body that comes from the anaerobic processing. We like to use a straight 1:16 ratio, as it brings a good balance between the full-body and the layers of complexity that this coffee has to offer. This coffee tends to like a little bit of a longer brew time, too, and we usually end our brew at around 4:00.
If this coffee is under-extracted, it will be very bright and hollow, with a disappointing finish. If over-extracted, it gets heavy and bitter with overpowering dark chocolate and cinnamon notes. Get it right though, and you'll be met with beautiful florals, a candy like sweetness and a juicy acidity. It's a truly amazing coffee!