Vietnam Ea Tan Fine Robusta Natural Anaerobic
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- Inventory on the way
Strawberry Chocolate, Jackfruit, Whisky
Vietnam is 75% low mountains and hilly regions, with elevation lower than 1,000m. In the north, there is the Northern Highland with the Red River Delta. The highest peak of Fansipan (Phan Xi Păng) at 3,143m lies here. In the south, there is the Mekong River Delta. In the middle is the Central Mountains, this being part of the Annamite Mountain Range that extends from Tibet and Southwest Yunnan through the length of Vietnam, ending in the south at the Mekong River Delta near to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon). This mountain range forms the border between Vietnam and Laos, and has three plateaus, one of which is the Bolaven Plateau of Laos which is its major coffee producing region. The mountain range is named after the Chinese name for Vietnam given by China since the 12th till the 19th century. Located at the south of China, An Nan (安南) carried the political wish for stability and peace in the south of China. Parchmen & Co has a tea from Vietnam which bears this name.
Our ASEAN neighbour Vietnam is from the second largest coffee producer and the largest robusta producer in the world. The central highlands is its largest coffee region and a major producer of robusta. It sits on a series of contiguous plateaus, one of which is the Dak Lak Plateau at 800-900m where our coffee is grown. Located at Krông Năng district of Dak Lak, Ea Tan Cooperative traditionally grows robusta. Since 2015, they focused more on quality than quantity, producing robusta of fine flavours nowadays known as fine robusta. Their renewed focus on quality expanded the processing methods to include honey and modern processing like anaerobic fermentation. The cooperative collects from smallholders owning 3-4 hectares of land each. Such small scale farming inevitably leads to higher production cost per smallholder. Since 2013, the cooperative have been re-organising the harvesting activities of these smallholders with an aim to achieve production and price optimisation. Their continued focus on quality reaped results in a short time and they won Top Cup in Vietnam Amazing Cup two years straight in 2019 and 2020.
The cooperative works with Simexco, which is Vietnam's leading coffee trader and exporter. Established in 1993, it has a cornerstone sustainability program that covers 2,000 farmers and 5,000 hectares. Ea Tan Cooperative is under this program and in tandem with Simexco, the cooperative is certified Utz, 4C and Rainforest Alliance.
A fine robusta - a first for Parchmen & Co, and one which is exceptional. This coffee reflects Parchmen & Co's focus on sustainable coffee enjoyment in the light of climate change.
This robusta has high density than exceeds common arabica coffee, at 0.76g/ml. It has around 10% moisture. Bean size is slightly small, at screen 15 as compared with a Colombia caturra at screen 16 up. We are also mindful to preserve the fruity notes created by the anaerobic nature process. Yet, we need to roast deep enough such that any earthy notes can be changed or masked. With these factors in consideration, we have chosen to roast it longer but at a lower momentum, resulting in a coffee that is light roasted and devoid of any dirty and earthy notes.
The coffee is brewing at 15g to 220ml of 92°C water on the V60. We are using Timeore Crystal Ice dripper and Cafec TH-1 paper. We have ground this robusta coffee similarly to arabica coffee, at 720µm. To the arabica drinker, the dry fragrance is a surprise - roasted sesame, milk chocolate, maltose and mixed berries. The brew aroma is again fruity with strawberries. When hot, the coffee is exceptionally smooth, without any bitterness, and not obvious on acidity. There is a note of boiled papaya with milk. The roasted grains retreated to the background to become the local small and round carom cakes of peanuts or the black square cakes of sesame with maltose. Earthy notes are not observed. Sweet strawberries dominate the brew, alongside roasted cashew nuts, with a hint of jackfruit and milk. It gets sweeter when it cools down, but when totally cool at room temperature, we detected slight astringency and the roasted grains advancing forward. However, by chilling the remaining coffee to promote flavour consolidation, we are treated with a strawberry chocolate. This will indeed be a treat to the usual arabica drinker. We are brewing our robusta coffee in the similar way as an arabica coffee, at 1:14 ratio, in 1 bloom and 1 continuous pour:
0th sec - 35g
45th sec - Pour 185g to reach 220g
120th sec - End
On the espresso, we are using 19g on a 18g basket, extracting for about 20 sec on a 1:2 extraction ratio to produce 40g. The grind size is on the finer end of the espresso grind spectrum. Typical of a robusta, the thick crema is best visually enjoyed in a shot glass. On the espresso, the nose is strawberry and the flavour is strawberry chocolate - mirroring the filter coffee profile. Vibrant acidity accompanies the elegant bitterness which could easily escapes the keen senses of an arabica drinker since it is so well balanced. Afterflavour is clean and medium length. On the black, the characteristic strawberry chocolate perfumes the nose in a lingering afterflavour, supported by acidity that confuses. The jackfruit note loses itself and integrates with its anaerobic aromatic compounds into a milk chocolate note. On the white*, the dairy and oat whites are both cups of comfort, again perfuming the nose with strawberries and chocolates. The inherent astringency of the robusta yields in the dairy white, with the full cream milk giving a smoother mouthfeel than the low fat milk accordingly. In the oat white, body is better experienced overall, with heavier weight, sweeter and smoother mouthfeel. The coffee blends so well in the oat milk it seems like a coffee-flavoured oat milk. Whisky notes seem well hidden in the espresso though. All in all, these are relatively straight-forward espresso beverages that keep giving us strawberries and chocolates.
This coffee is also suitable for cold brew. Using our X5 ice drip set, we use 60g of coffee ground to the same V60 grind size of 720µm, to 500ml of ice and water, at a drip rate of 6g per 30sec. Some steps are here. The entire brew will yield about 400ml of coffee, in about 4 hours. It is upmost important to keep the brew ice cold when serving to present its best flavour. The first impression is that of barrel-aged whisky, turning quickly to strawberry chocolate. It may seem smoky to some folks. Again, it is smooth and sweet. When it warms up, the notes of roasted sesame and peanuts will become more obvious, and some robusta bitterness may set in.
* Our cafes are using Meiji milk, Noomoo or Oatside oat milk.