Parchment Coffee Beans (Arabica / Robust ) | Ekowarehouse

Parchment coffee beans

Beans / July 29, 2017

This year's batch of R.I.P. coffee is in. Overall, we think the cup quality is improved over last year: incredible body, with a really unique flavor profile. This year's batch roasts quite differently from last year's, as illustrated below:

Okay, this is about as wacky as it gets; roasting coffee in it's parchment shell, grinding it up, parchment and all, and brewing it. But we tried it and it's a unique cup, with extra body, and unusual cocoa and woody flavors. RIP coffee is a name we came up with for "Roasted In Parchment, " which is a another of our crackpot ideas. But the logic is all there: After coffee is processed at the wet mill or the pulping station, it is dried in the sun. At this stage the coffee has it's outer parchment shell on it; it is called pergamino in Central America at this stage. After it is sun-dried down to 12% moisture content, the parchment coffee is rested in silos or bags for anywhere from 30-60 days. This allows the coffee to stabilize. In it's parchment shell, the dried green coffee can be stored for much longer, and is more protected from temperature and humidity changes that damage cup quality. I had toyed with the idea years ago of importing coffee in parchment, and milling it here. You can store it and dry mill it right before shipping it to the customer. The logistics never made sense, and milling is expensive and dusty. Some time last year I was in my cupping room and on a whim I started roasting some samples I had of parchment coffee. I remember seeing women in rural Guatemala roasting parchment coffee on a wood stove. What would happen? I was really surprised by the cup. It was very different, not at all unpleasant. There was tons of body, an unusual maple syrup and cocoa powder taste. It seemed like I had blended coffee with something else, but I enjoyed it! I also found that the darker roasts were my favorite. So this year while traveling in Costa Rica I asked Juan Ramon at Brumas del Zurqui Micro Mill if they would ship us parchment coffee. They did, and with a twist: this isn't wet-processed parchment coffee, it is Red Honey Parchment from pulped natural process. That means the fruit of the coffee cherry was left to dry on the parchment. Rather than the pale cream color of wet-processed parchment, this has a red tint to it.

Wet-Process Coffee Parchment
Here is an image of typical wet-process parchment or pergamino coffee. The coffee fruit has it's outer skin removed (pulped), then the fruity layer that clings to the parchment shell is fermented off. It is washed and then laid on patios to dry for a week or so. Once it reaches 11 or12% moisture, it is "rested" for up to 2 months to stabilize, then ready for dry-milling (hulling the green bean out of the parchment, screening, sorting) and export.