Tropical Summer, our newest offering from Colombia, is a unique coffee with unique origins. It comes from an urban farm and micro-processing center called Proyecto Renacer, which means “re-birth project” in a neighborhood of Medellin, one of Colombia’s largest cities. This project began with only one producer, Gabriel Cortez, and has since grown to involve more than fifteen families. This project’s goal is to bring the children of traditional coffee growers into the future of processing by sharing experimental and cutting-edge techniques, and providing a site to carry out these experiments. Through this work, the founders Cristian and Jhonotan have created a culture of vibrant creativity in an area with a history of conflict and violence, and demonstrated that coffee can continue to be a nourishing and innovative industry.
The 6-day anaerobic lactic fermentation that creates many of the flavors in Tropical Summer is a powerful example of this work. Most coffees we encounter are aerobically-fermented in open-air tanks. In the case of Tropical Summer, the coffee is placed in a sealed tank with the fruit still intact. As the fruit ferments, CO2 is produced and the oxygen is gradually removed from the environment. In the absence of oxygen, lactic acid is created by the fermentation process. Some alcohol is also produced which transfers a pink color from the coffee pulp to the seeds themselves.
Cristian and Jhonotan, upon cupping this creation for the first time, coined the coffee Verano Tropical in honor of the vibrant tropical fruit that this coffee evokes. You’ll find flavors of mango, sweet teacake, and a creamy mouthfeel in the cup.