Colombia Manos Juntas: An Anaerobic Natural With Increased Traceability

Posted by Katrina Oseguera on

In our continuous effort to bridge the gap between the roaster and the specialty coffee industry, we are taking a closer look at our green coffee selection with a focus on farms, producers, varietals, and processing methods.

Colombia Manos Juntas, Natural processed Pacamara Varietal

We have enjoyed this coffee for a few years in a row. We’ve explored it with students in our Roasting 101 classes, carried it as an offering on our green coffee page, and used it as a component in a few of our popular seasonal Holiday Blends. This versatile and sweet coffee is a great introduction to the anaerobic natural processing method because its balanced and vibrant flavors are approachable and inviting.

More about the processing of Manos Juntas

This particular offering was first purchased in its cherry form when delivered to the mill by eight local producers, on the day of harvest. Upon arrival, the Brix and pH were recorded, and the cherries were placed in large hermetic tanks for a five-day-long anaerobic fermentation. Each tank is labeled with the name of the producer, to retain traceability.

During this period, nitrogen gas is introduced into the tanks in order to stimulate the yeast. Brix and pH are measured constantly through this process and are used to determine the stopping point for fermentation; the coffee is then subjected to 20°C temperatures in order to cease fermentation and remove the yeast and other microorganisms.

The cherry is then “aged” in tanks for a period of five more days before they are taken to solar dryers. Drying takes 30–45 days. Once dried, the coffee is cupped and samples are sent to Cafe Imports. They are then approved, milled, and shipped.

Producer Information

There are currently eight producers participating in the Manos Juntas program. Each one is a smallholder with 1–2 hectares of coffee. The varieties in this lot are Colombia, Castillo, and Colombia F6.

  • Dimer Moncayo Muñoz of Finca El Diviso
  • Bernardo Moncayo Bolaños of Finca El Pino
  • Geremias Moncayo Salazar of Finca Buena Vista
  • Juan Bautista Gaviria of Finca Villa Susy
  • Geremias Moncayo Salazar of Finca Buena Vista
  • Juan Bautista Gaviria of Finca Villa Susy
  • Pablo Emilio Duran Guerrero of Finca El Guamo
  • Armel Moncayo Trujillo of Finca Loma El Marcelo
  • Ricardo Leon Moncayo of Finca La Granadilla
  • Flor Maria Lopez of Finca San Jose

Anaerobic Natural Process

Producers and farmers are always looking for new innovations in the coffee industry just as us roasters, tasters, and baristas. Making changes to ways of coffee production differentiates producers from each other allowing them to target a specific market, moderate their coffees profile, and experiment with growing processing ideas. Enter anaerobic processing – a processing method that includes the fermentation of coffee cherries without oxygen introduced in the process. The full cherries go directly into tanks, raised beds, or patios where the coffee produces interesting flavors and lactic acids giving us that “funky” element to the coffee and an overall distinct green coffee option.

Pacamara Variety

A natural mutation of the Bourbon varietal, the Pacamara varietal became the result of crossing both the Pacas and the Maragogipe varietals. It took roughly 30 years of careful research and science to create the Pacamara varietal being finally released to coffee producers in the late 1980s. It’s now a highly celebrated varietal due to its distinct and captivating profile, and one all should try. Learn more about Pacamara on World Coffee Research’s variety catalog.

As a relatively large and lightweight bean, we find roasting the Pacamara to be a special challenge. Typically, we approach this varietal with a “low and slow” approach to avoid burning the available sugars in the coffee, starting with a cooler charge temperature and utilizing lower overall fuel inputs. Keeping our airflow settings a little lower than usual also helps us control the coffee in the drum. You can view our profile for this coffee on RoastPATH. The profile linked here is for a smaller charge weight, but when we roast larger quantities of Pacamara we will often use a static air flow setting, keeping at a “medium” for the entirety of the roast. It’s not very different from roasting a decaffeinated coffee, where using a gentler application of heat helps us avoid heat defect for this delicate bean and keeps our customers from drinking an empty, flavorless cup of coffee.

Stay tuned for more information as we explore the world of coffee production and dive deeper into our current coffee offerings.


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