11-30-2020, 05:21 AM
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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As a Certified Old Guy, yr obdnt srvnt still delights in learning new things about subjects that he has not, or only tangentially, given much thought to before.  New concepts give me renewed life.   But it is fairly rare at my age that I encounter something completely new about a subject that I have looked into fairly deeply for years.  

One such recent encounter was of the ASD process that some pioneering coffee growers have started to adopt for the crucial stage between the time coffee cherries are plucked from the bush and the time bulk beans are graded and put into burlap bags to send off to auction.  It is different from "wet processing" and different from "dry" or "natural" processing, though it contains elements of both.  It bears similarities to the encouragement of botrytis (a.k.a. "noble rot") in the maturation of dessert wines, especially in Bordeaux.  One of our favorite aperitifs is a Botrytis Semillon from Australia, and the rot has performesd miracles upon a humble white wine grape varietal.

We shall leave as an exercise for the student to grasp the concept and theory of ASD, which is an acronym for anaerobic slow drying, and you might start with a YouTube video of Wilford Lamastus giving a brief explanation.  The remainder of this post introduces a tangential aspect of the affect that ASD has had upon the marketplace for specialty roasting.  

For the past few weeks, we — who for the past few decades have preferred African coffees over coffees sourced from other regions — have been enjoying an ASD-processed coffee from the Elida Estate on the slopes of Volcán Barú, the highest mountain peak in western Panama.  (Standing at the summit, once you catch your breath, you can see the Atlantic Ocean in one direction, and merely turning around, you can see the Pacific Ocean; how about that?)  To conserve shipping costs, we purchased three one pound bags at a shot (then a shot in the dark) from Geisha Coffee Roasters in Florida.  The coffee certainly is different from other coffees that we recently have favored, and it took several potsful (we prepare our morning coffee in a Hario vacpot) for us to agree that we really like it; we shall be buying more.  We mentioned it to our son, who lives with his family in Oakland, and who previously had been converted by me from Blue Bottle to the roughly quarterly "Pick of the Harvest" surprise offerings from Jeremiah's Pick.  We mentioned it, not so much as a recommendation to follow exactly in our recent steps, but because he lives in Oakland.  To wit:  

o  We paid $14.30/lb for the Elida Estate Natural ASD coffee from the Florida retailer; we ordered on a Wednesday; the coffee was roasted the next day (Geisha usually roasts that varietal on Thursdays), snd the three bags arrived at our home in the Pacific Northwest over that same weekend. 

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o  A well-known and respected coffee roaster in Oakland is selling the same ASD-processed Catuai varietal coffee from the same estate.
. . . The selling price in Oakland is $95/pound.

See the topic line.

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