Don’t buy naturals from Guatemala
October 2, 2007
I occasionally get requests for this and although they exist in Guate, you probably don’t want it. A well processed natural calls for slightly drier climate or a controlled mechanical drying. As we dry everything on the patio we need to get lucky with a solid week of exceptionally strong sun to handle this. There are still 2 greater reasons why not to buy naturals from Guate.
photograph taken by Mike Garber
1. I think it’s illegal. I think all exports must be “CLEAN COFFEES”
2. If you dried it adequately and gave it good drymilling/processing that yielded a nice “looking” bean it probably still tastes fermented and or grainy and grassy. Why? The only naturals I’ve ever seen are the result of sifting off the floaters in the first water tank before depulping and some of this is nice because it is a cherry that has only 1 bean in it, BUT IS NOT A PEABERRY. The other parchment/mucilage shell inside is hollow, thus it floats. However most floaters float because of other internal defect, or most likely it is simply overfermented and clearly appears it as the skin has already begun to shrivel and dry up like a raisin. This means although it maybe remains connected to the plant it is no longer in growth mode receiving nutrients, rather it is dying ON the tree. The other natural coffees found in Guate tend to be under ripes. Whether this was picked accidentally or on purpose, sorting them out is easy, and the taste is poor, so everyone ensures they’re not part of the “export” coffee. If you’re cup ever tastes like wheat grass… this is probably why.