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Tag Archives: Washed Coffee

  • Free Shipping on Coffee Sampler Pack for a Limited Time!

    Posted on October 20, 2014 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith


    From long time coffee lovers to first time specialty coffee buyers, we are often asked if we could offer a sample pack of several of our current coffees.  Well, wait no longer!  Our sampler pack includes 3 different coffees, each highlighting different growing regions and unique flavors from around the world.

    We look long and hard for exceptional coffees that we are proud to offer our customers, and our first sample pack is one in which we could not be prouder.  Two of the coffees cup at over 90 points! (If you don't know what that means, it means they are really-really good.)

    To kick off the introduction of our sampler pack, we are offering free shipping on the coffee sampler through October.  Use Code SAMPLER in the discount code box at checkout.  CLICK HERE TO ORDER.

    This post was posted in What We are Drinking Now, News, On Sale and was tagged with Single Origin, Coffee, Free Shipping, Natural Processed Coffee, Washed Coffee, Coffee Sample Pack, Coffee Sampler, 90 point coffee

  • 20 Second Peak at a Guatemalan Coffee Wet Mill

    Posted on February 20, 2014 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    Our friends posted this video of their coffee at a wet mill in Guatemala.

    There are several methods for processing coffee, one of our favorites is wet process (aka washed, fully washed).  Shortly after being picked by hand, coffee cherries are taken to the mill where they are first sorted in water tanks, then sent through the pulper, which is what is shown here. The pulper removes the skin and much of the fruit from the coffee bean.  After this, the coffee is then sent to fermentation tanks where they will stay for about 24-48 hours.

    In the video you can see the red coffee cherries going into the mill.  In the last few seconds of the video you can watch the de-pulped coffee beans exiting the mill.  At this point they are whitish/light yellow in color and still covered in a sticky mucilage that is removed in the fermentation tanks.


    This post was posted in News, Coffee Education and was tagged with Single Origin, Coffee, Coffee Processing, Washed Coffee, Guatemala, Coffee Mill

  • Coffee Giveaway! | Square Peg Espresso

    Posted on May 2, 2013 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    That's right!  We are hosting another giveaway.  Win two bags of our hand-crafted Square Peg Espresso using coffee from Uganda's Kabum Cooperative. An amazing coffee supporting an amazing ticket out of poverty for a Ugandan community! Entry is easy, just use the form below.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    This post was posted in News and was tagged with Single Origin, Coffee, Washed Coffee, Giveaway, Espresso, Kabum Cooperative, Mt. Elgon, Square Peg Espresso

  • Coffee Q&A | Espresso, Bean Density, and Crema

    Posted on April 17, 2013 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    Q: I like to experiment with what coffee I use in my espresso maker.  I notice some coffees work really well, producing lots of crema, well while others are hard to grind (using my hand grinder), taste sour, and produce a thin espresso.  What is happening?


    A: Experimenting with different coffees when making an espresso is a lot of fun.  I still remember the first time I tried a Brazil based espresso blend side-by-side with a natural processed Ethiopian Harrar.  It was a wow moment in my life when I realized how deliciously different coffees from around the world can be.

    For understanding, espresso is a preparation method and roasters roast coffee specifically for the espresso preparation method. Say a roaster has a single origin lot of Ethiopia Harrar, for example.  A typical roast profile for a pourover (drip) will be lighter than one for espresso.  Using the lighter roast profile in an espresso will produce a very bright (sometimes sour / sometimes pleasant) and lemony cup, lacking the caramels, chocolate, toffee and body compared to the same bean roasted a bit darker for espresso.

    Some coffee beans are more difficult to grind because of density.  Bean density is impacted by multiple factors, most common are plant variety (compare a Pacamara's soft bean structure to a Typica), growing altitude (generally higher is denser), and bean ripeness when harvested.  Processing, as far as I know, does not have a substantial effect on density (natural, washed, semi washed, etc...).




    When roasting coffee, several things happen that affect bean density: the loss of water and the expansion of the woody structure of the bean.  Much of the expansion happens at the onset of first crack and continues through second.  Most palatable lighter roasts can end as early as the end of first crack where the beans are still relatively dense, while espresso roasts tend towards the onset of 2nd crack or beyond (of course it is a subjective choice).

    As for crema production on an espresso extraction, again, many things affect this including those things mentioned above (variety, process, and roast degree).  Anecdotal-y, it seems natural and honey process coffees tend to have more crema than washed, but I could also point out hundreds of exceptions to that observation. Elapsed time after roast has a big impact on roast degree.  A huge decrease in crema is seen after around 14 days after roast.  A tasting attribute we call "body" increases through the roast spectrum until around 2nd crack and then it drops off.  I would speculate that there is a correlation between a coffee's body and the amount of crema produced in espresso, although I don't remember seeing any studies on this topic.


    If you have a coffee question you want answered, send us an email and we will try to give you an answer.

    This post was posted in Coffee Education and was tagged with Coffee, Coffee Roasting, Ethiopia, Ethiopian Coffee, Natural Processed Coffee, Washed Coffee, Espresso, Q&A, Coffee Density, Crema, Dark Vs. Light Roast

  • Square Peg Espresso | Uganda Kabum Cooperative

    Posted on January 29, 2013 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    Square Peg Espresso

    We are excited to announce that our Square Peg Signature Espresso blend is now using an amazing coffee from Uganda's Kabum Cooperative, produced high on the slopes of Mt. Elgon.

    This fully washed coffee is grown on the beautiful slopes of Mt. Elgon, an extinct volcano that sits on the border between Uganda and Kenya.  We chose this coffee to be the backbone of our Square Peg Espresso for many reasons, primarily because of its clean, sweet chocolate & citrus profile with a lush mouth-feel.  That all said, it is really-really freakin' delicious when pulled as an espresso.

    We also love how this coffee is produced, by the Kabum Cooperative farmers.  Kabum was started back in 2003 when a group from Oregon went to the area to build a small well to provide fresh water for the rural community of Kapchorwa.  What they saw was a community that needed more than clean water to succeed, they needed a means to escape the exploitation of their poverty.  Through a sponsorship program a school was built and the process of slowly empowering this community was under way.

    A bigger problem was clearly evident, however, that until families could earn a sustaining wage for their hard work, change would be difficult to come by and maintain.  After learning more about the incredible coffee growing potential of the terroir, Kabum was founded.

    Kabum has been able to return a much larger portion of profits to farmers because of their "True Trade" model of operation.  Venia Coffee buys coffee directly from Kabum, as opposed to a third party importer, and more of the profit goes back to the farmers. 2011 was the first crop year to hit US soil.  2012's coffee crop was even better and 2013's crop is looking to be the best yet.


    Uganda Kabum Farmers on Mt. Elgon


    Higher quality coffee can be sold for more, so the Co-op pays bonuses to farmers for higher quality coffees.  Education and training for farmers who aren't hitting the mark is also provided. Washing stations have been and are being built, a key to high quality coffee.  Low interest micro-loans allow farmers to purchase the land they farm and the equipment used for farming.  Lastly, more and more children in the Kabum community are receiving educations.   For the first time in the area's history, the exploitation of local residents is facing opposition. Does your coffee do that?

    Try a bag of Square Peg Signature Espresso today!

    This post was posted in Uncategorized, Coffee Review, Venia Gives Back, What We are Drinking Now, News and was tagged with Washed Coffee, Kabum, Uganda Coffee, Espresso, Kabum Cooperative, Mt. Elgon, True Trade

  • Coffee Processing at Origin | Reading For the True Coffee Enthusiast

    Posted on July 31, 2012 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    If you have purchased coffee from us before, you have probably noticed that we indicate how each of our offerings was processed at the farm after it was harvested.  How a coffee is processed can have a profound impact on many of the factors we test before choosing a coffee, including fragrance, aroma, mouth-feel, flavor, acidity, and name a few.


    A One Paragraph Example of the Effect of Coffee Processing on Flavor

    I had the opportunity about a year ago to cup (a term we use that essentially means "evaluate") the same Costa Rican coffee that was processed using three different methods that are commonly called washed, honey processed (or pulped-natural), and natural processed.  As one would expect there were certainly some flavor characteristics that were common to each but also some profound differences.  The washed processed coffee was comparably delicate and clean with subtle nuanced floral flavors clearly present.  The honey processed version had much more body, with brown sugar and almond notes almost completely covering the floral notes found in the washed version.  Lastly, the natural processed added much more intense flavors including raisins, cherry fruits, and a little satisfying mustiness.  All the subtle nuanced flavors found in the washed version were no longer discernible.  All were excellent coffees that we scored very well, but were also very different.


    Continue Reading Only if You Like Nerdy Coffee Theory Stuff

    While in a perfect world coffee, processing falls neatly into one of the above categories, the reality is the terminology Washed, Natural, and Honey/pulp-Natural are probably more appropriate for defining coffee at the consumer level that at the production level.  Natural processed coffee in general means coffee that is dried with the fleshy fruit of the coffee cherry still attached.  In Ethiopia and much of Africa, natural process coffees are first harvested selectively when ripe on the plant, then dried on patios or raised beds.  However, in some areas of Brazil coffee cherries at all stages of ripeness are allowed to dry on the plant, then all the coffee cherries (ripe or not) are harvested at the same time.  Both are technically Naturally processed, but both are very different.

    Honey Processed or Pulped Natural coffees are harvested then sent through a mill that removes the fruit but leaves the slimy coating called mucilage on the bean.  Then the beans are left to dry.  Later they can be sent through a hulling machine to remove the remaining mucilage.  Some of these coffees can add a step where they are washed in water leading to the term "Semi-Washed".  This process can add sweet/sugary flavors to coffee when compared to a fully-washed coffee (which is why I am assuming the Honey Processed name is used, but I can't confirm this.  No actually honey is used).

    Washed coffees are harvested and sorted, then the fruit is removed from the bean using a mill (similar to the pulped natural process).  Then the mucilage covered beans are placed in water tanks where they are allowed to ferment for a length of time dependent on many factors (generally 24-48 hours).  This fermentation process and subsequent washings leads to removal the mucilage layer.  Beans are then transferred to drying patios or raised beds for drying.  There are many variations to wet processing.

    There are two great posts by respected coffee professionals (Chris Schooley at Coffee Shrub and Peter Giuliano from Counter Culture Coffee and now the new SCAA Symposium director) dialoging more on the topic.  They are great reads and packed full of great information.

    Post 1: Confused? Naturally

    Post 2: A response to Chris Schooley's "Confused? Naturally."


    This post was posted in Coffee Education and was tagged with Coffee, Natural Processed Coffee, Coffee Processing, Honey Processed Coffee, Semi-Washed Coffee, Washed Coffee, Washed Process Coffee, Coffee Processing Types

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