New processing, new normal, new prices!
Koji-fermented coffees – the next innovation in speciality..
First seen in 2019 Koji-fermented coffees have created a buzz of exitement for consumers and industry professionals…
I was once struck by the similarity in smell and taste of a macerated natural El Salvador to the Hoisin sauce I’d had the night before with some crispy duck. Fast forward a couple of years and the connection has been well and truly made by bioscientist Koichi Higuchi. Koji coffee involves applying Koji spores to green coffee beans and leaving them to ferment for several days, just as the Japanese have done with other fermented foods for thousands of years. Think Miso or Kombucha and you’re on the right track.
The resulting roasted coffees show a milder flavour when more developed with lighter roasts offering a cleaner acidity. The trick is to do with utilising more of the natural sugars in the bean, unlocking more potential for sweetness.
There doesn’t seem to be too drastic an effect on the overall flavours and aromas, but a marked increase in cup score of between 2-5 points. Could we see Koji spore use more widely adopted with speciality producers?
Market consilidation continues at high rates.
Blends are back with a bang!
Blends have had a bit of a rough ride in recent years with speciality coffee shunning them in favour of single origin and estate coffees. It is true that a blend can be a combination of coffees designed to get a collectively improved flavour and reduce costs, but, as with a fine St Emilion, if the quality of the constituent parts is high then surely a blend can be equally high quality.
All in all we expect a challenging but rewarding year with plenty of change and plenty of opportunity. More, better coffee will be drunk and more, better coffee will be roasted. Lets hope 2022 is the beginning of the end of the effects of the pandemic on all hospitality as we look forward to a return to stability and prosperity in the wider sector.