¿Qué son los cafés infusionados y los cafés co-fermentados? ¿Son una moda pasajera? ¿Son café realmente? - Artisancoffee

What are infused coffees and co-fermented coffees? Are they a fad? Are they really coffee?

What are infused and co-fermented coffees?

Infused coffees and co-fermented coffees are two experimental approaches in the specialty coffee industry that seek to innovate and expand the spectrum of flavors available. Although both methods focus on altering and enriching the flavor profile of coffee, there are key differences in their processes and final results.

Co-fermented Coffees:

This method involves fermenting coffee with additional ingredients during the natural coffee fermentation process. For example, fruits, fruit juices, or even other microorganisms can be added to the mother culture or directly with the coffee during its fermentation. This approach tends to be seen as more natural because the flavor variations come from natural ingredients added during fermentation. Rodrigo Sánchez Valencia, a third-generation producer, prefers the term "co-fermented" to describe this process, emphasizing the use of natural ingredients and avoiding the involvement of artificial additives. The co-fermentation process may include the fermentation of a "mother culture" with microorganisms derived from coffee plants, to which mixtures of fruit juices and sweeteners are then added to enhance flavors inherent to the coffee and increase the sugar content. , thus facilitating the fermentation process.

Infused Coffees:

On the other hand, infused coffees refer to coffee beans that have been intentionally exposed to other ingredients to absorb certain sensory attributes. This method may involve introducing flavors during the coffee processing process, but there is some ambiguity about when and how the infusion is done. In some cases, artificial flavors can be added after roasting. The main difference between infused and co-fermented coffees lies in the perception of naturalness and the moment at which additional flavors are introduced. While co-fermentation is perceived as a more natural method and part of the fermentation process, infusion can involve a wider range of techniques, including the use of artificial flavors.

Similarities and Differences between co-fermented and infused coffees

 

  • Similarities: Both methods seek to enrich and diversify the flavor profile of the coffee. They are at the forefront of experimentation in coffee processing and respond to the growing demand for unique and differentiated coffee experiences.
  • Differences: Co-fermentation focuses on the addition of natural ingredients during the fermentation process and is seen as a more inherent and natural process. Infusion, although it can also occur during processing, can involve a wider range of techniques and is not limited to natural ingredients, leading some to view it as potentially less "authentic" in terms of the resulting flavors.

The reception of these coffees in the market is increasingly positive, especially in Asian and Middle Eastern markets, where there is notable interest in these innovations in the flavor profile of coffee. However, there are also challenges, especially around the perception of authenticity and acceptance by roasters and coffee experts.

Transparency in the process is crucial to the success and acceptance of these coffees in the specialty market, ensuring that consumers and professionals understand how the unique flavor profiles were achieved.

Fad or adaptation to the market?

The discussion about whether infused and co-fermented coffees are a passing fad or an adaptation with signs of permanence in the market reveals divided opinions within the specialty coffee industry.

On the one hand, innovation and the search for new flavor profiles are recognized as responses to consumer demand and as a way of adaptation to climate change and other agricultural challenges. These processing methods represent an exploration of techniques that can add value to the product and allow producers to stand out in a competitive market. Co-fermentation with fruit, for example, is not simply an additive process, but rather a unique chemical interaction that can produce complex and surprising flavors.


However, controversy arises around the authenticity and perceived quality of these coffees. Some in the industry see these methods as a departure from specialty coffee ideals, concerned about how infusions and co-fermentations can alter the coffee's basic profile and potentially mask flaws. The addition of fruits and spices during fermentation has faced criticism from prestigious competitions and organizations, such as the Cup of Excellence and the World Barista Championships, which have strict policies against the addition of non-traditional ingredients.


Consumer receptivity to these innovations appears to be high, especially among those new to coffee or those seeking unique flavor experiences. Infused and co-fermented coffees offer an attractive entry point for these consumers, delivering distinctive and bold flavors that may be easier for untrained palates to appreciate.

Despite the debates, the trend toward infused and co-fermented coffees reflects a broader movement toward experimentation and innovation in the specialty coffee industry. Challenges related to transparency, quality and authenticity will continue to be points of discussion as the industry strives to balance innovation with standards of quality and tradition.


In summary, although there are legitimate concerns about the long-term viability and acceptance of these methods by the entire coffee supply chain, innovation in coffee processing appears to be a reflection of the industry's constant evolution and adaptation. to market demands and agricultural challenges. The continuation of these practices will depend largely on market acceptance, clarity in regulations and the ability to effectively communicate added value to consumers.

Do you want to try a co-fermented coffee?

At Artisan Coffee, we wanted to bring the experience of co-fermented coffees from the Colombian producer Sebastián Ramírez . His sincerity, love for coffee, together with impeccable work led us to want to show you some of his coffees.

In this case, fruits purple is co-fermented with grapes and incredible notes of violets. I would highlight its defined, clean flavor and its ability to surprise, reflecting the dedication and art behind its production. By offering it, we want to share with our clients this unique experience and the story of passion and quality that accompanies it.

From the farm to your home

Coffee processing. From the producer to your home

Sorany Castaño. Colombia - Artisancoffee

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