Mexico Natural Ext. Fermentation with Starter Culture

Tropical fruits, orange bitters, blueberry
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Bag Weight 69 KG BAG
Harvest Season 2022/23
Status Spot
Lot Number P8002097-1
  • 1 Bag(s)
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About This Coffee

This special microlot is sourced from 7 producers from the Sampieri brothers and Zilli family farms in the Huatusco region as part of our innovation program in Mexico. For this project we have purchased cherry direct from the producers and employed new fermentation techniques to improve SCA cup score by up to 3 points.

The climate of the region around the town of Huatusco de Chicuellar is perfect for growing coffee, but peculiar in that it rains often and is cold at night. This can make fermenting and drying coffee complicated, which is why farmers tend to sell coffee in cherry. For Gerardo Sampieri and his brother, who have always been coffee farmers, the rugged mountain region around Huatusco is home. Bernardo Zili and his coffee farm, Tlacotla, have earned a reputation for growing and nurturing excellent coffee. They recently certified their farms Rain Forest Alliance and are very proud of the high certification score.

Origin Mexico
Subregion Huatusco, Veracruz
Harvest Season 2022/23
Producer Type Small Holder Farmers
Processing Washed
Processing Description Washed with extended fermentation assisted by yeast starter culture
Plant Species Arabica
Variety Colombia, Costa Rica, Marsellesa
Coffee Grade MEX CA NAT
Screen Size 15 Up
Bag Weight 69 KG BAG
Bag Types Grain Pro / Ecotact

The Region

Huatusco is located in the central highlands of Veracruz where breathtaking mountain views are the norm. When coffee first came to Mexico from the Caribbean, it was planted in Veracruz. The combination of cool, high altitudes and a verdant subtropical climate are ideal for growing coffee.

Coffee production is among the most important activities in the region, with a long history that includes a festival at the conclusion of harvest known as La Viuda Del Café, “Coffee’s Widow,” named for the loneliness of the coffee plants following harvest. It is said that the coffee plants are in mourning until “courted” again during the next harvest. The celebrants wear crowns made from the leaves of coffee plants and prepare traditional foods. Tradition holds that the festival must take place to ensure a good harvest the following year.

The Process

While fermentation is a very dynamic process there are some elements that are in our control. Elements like time, temperature, and cherry ripeness are the basics. Extended fermentation follows one of two pathways in our 'Project Capture' innovation series. The first is to use the indigenous microorganisms which are naturally present in the cherry pulp and skin, much like in Natural Wine production. The second pathway - and the one utilised for this lot - introduces a starter culture, specially formulated for coffee, which will enhance the production of favourable volatiles (flavour elements).

Ripe coffee cherries are carefully handpicked and sorted to remove any damaged or unripe fruits. These coffee cherries are then sprayed with starter culture and fermentation is continued for 60 hours in a closed environment.  The starter culture along with the indigenous microorganisms present in the cherries ferment the coffee cherries and produce desirable aroma precursors through fermentation of sugars to organic acids and alcohols and further to fruity esters.

Post fermentation, the coffee cherries are dried as natural coffees on raised beds.  When these coffees are roasted the aroma precursors turn into desirable aroma including fruity esters, aldehydes, ketones and terpenoids providing the much desired highlighting fruitiness, acidity and full body to the coffee.


  • Subregion Huatusco, Veracruz
  • Producer Type Small Holder Farmers
  • Processing Washed
  • Processing Description Washed with extended fermentation assisted by yeast starter culture
  • Bag Types Grain Pro / Ecotact
  • Plant Species Arabica
  • Variety Colombia, Costa Rica, Marsellesa
  • Min Growing Altitude 1200m
  • Max Growing Altitude 1400m
  • Screen Size 15 Up
  • On Sale No
  • Top Lot Yes
  • Price Per Kg £7.75
  • Status Spot
  • Coffee Grade MEX CA NAT
  • CTRM Contract Number P8002097-1
  • Origin Mexico
  • Warehouse Vollers Group Uk