In the endless pursuit of quality and differentiation within the specialty coffee realm, perhaps no other facet has made gains so rapidly and with such practical significance in recent years as post-harvest coffee processing.
On that front, Japanese coffee roasting giant Key Coffee is experimenting with near-freezing whole, ripe coffee cherries and cold-storing them to further, or at least differently, develop sucrose, organic acids and free amino acids, according to a report from Nikkei Asian Review.
Key Coffee has been a leader in the Japanese coffee market for decades, primarily offering traditional instant (soluble) products, RTD coffee drinks and non-specialty-grade coffees. Yet the company also maintains high-end lines, particularly its Toarco Toraja brand, which sources coffees from a Key-owned-and-operated coffee estate in the Toraja region of Indonesia, in South Sulawesi.
According to Nikkei, the company is cold-shipping harvested coffee in cherry, although it is also developing a system to complete the experimental processing method at the farm. The company shared some interesting results with the news source:
For example, the amount of sucrose contained in raw beans rose from 6.35% when processed by conventional methods to 7.35% with the new technology. That might not sound like much, but when roasted, the beans are much more fragrant, according to the company.
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