What is Real Coffee?

    From its first discovery as a fun and stimulating cherry (before our focus turned to the seed inside) to the present day, producers all over the world have fiddled with coffee to bring out its “true” flavor. Today, however, there is a debate about new practices of manipulating fermentation, using coffee byproducts and adding non-coffee botanicals. This raises the question, “What constitutes ‘real’ coffee?”For many, a truly natural coffee is produced by using only de-pulped coffee beans, water, yeast, and bacteria.  A very small number of coffee producers are now using additives like pulp and juice left over from a prior fermentation, organic acids, hops, spices, and other fruits to achieve their aesthetic goals.The wine world has long used organic acids to better the final product.  Acids not only alter the PH levels but can also change our overall perception of the coffee’s mouthfeel and flavors.  For example, citric acid can give the impression of a cleaner, brighter cup when coffee has been through anaerobic fermentation, which results in more malic acid.“Mossto” is really the byproduct of fermenting coffee.  It’s made up of pulp, juice, and, of course, highly beneficial yeasts that have, by virtue of making it through one fermentation, proven that they are efficient.  These additives, while being nothing but coffee, are seen by some as foreign and somehow represent cheating.  For purists, it is easier to cry foul when a producer adds actual hops, spices, and other fruits to the mix.  One producer from Costa Rica has made coffees with strong aromas of cinnamon and even peppermint while not adding any actual spice or other fruit.  On the other side of the coin is a producer in Colombia marketing a coffee called, “Black honey double carbonic maceration mossto and “galaxy hop” infused.  Makes your head spin, but aren’t you at least curious to taste it?While our team will always fight to bring out its TRUE essence, we’re also familiar with that non-stop, caffeinated rush to express a vision for a new experience with coffee and share it with the world. And for that, we say - let’s keep innovating!by Steve Yeaze