Thailand Merlaeku Family
Flavor Notes: Almond Roca | Rice pudding | Bakers Cocoa
Coffees like this one will surprise some people, and we are always happy to break down preconceptions. So often coffees from certain countries or regions are looked at as lesser-than by the paradigmatic intelligentsia for one reason or another.
This black honey processed lot is comprised of Catuai, Typica, Chiang Mai, SJ133 varietals and from the 5 Merlaeku brothers in Doi Pangkhon, Chiang Rai. While we chose a darker roast profile for this coffee, it isn't a roasty cup. Look for deep chocolate as well as light fruit and nutty flavors in the cup. Given the beautiful natural complexity of coffees, we feel like those flavors can contribute unique nuances for our dark roast fans. Just like in the past 15+ years at the end of the “second wave” of coffee, way back before Mostra, when roasters figured out that instead of using “blender” coffee for blends that using top-level coffee made better espresso, we apply the same thought to our dark roast offerings.
Honey processed coffee does not involve honey from bee's but rather are called that for its tactile appearance; on the spectrum between fully wet and dully dry methods, this lot is closer to a natural/dry processed coffee.
From the Exporter, Beanspire:
As the process designer, dry miller and exporter of this coffee, we have worked in this area for 7 years now. Doi Pangkhon, in Chiang Rai, has 300 households, each typically producing about 1-2 tons of parchment. In the past years, we worked with each house individually on their wet processing and bought their parchment before hulling and grading at our mill. In 2017-2018 season, we invested in a wet mill, operated by a few of our partner producers, all belonging to the five Merlaeku brothers who are of Akha Hilltribe minority, so we had more control of the process since the cherries and we also bought cherries from outside the family as well. In the 2018-2019 season, we improved the mill by adding the roof, buying new pulpers and improving workflows. In the 2019-2020 harvest, we bought an electricity generator, built a cupping lab for the farmers, and laid new concentrate flooring for the mill. In the 2020-2021 harvest, we leased a new space in the lowland so we can dry coffee more efficiently.
This is a honey-processed micro lot. We collected coffee cherries, floated to remove defective cherries and pulped without water in order to preserve the most mucilage on the parchment. The parchment was dried on raised beds in a thin layer, raked several times a day to prevent fermentation, and to promote even drying. Once the parchment has been dried to 10% moisture level, it is delivered to our dry mill in the low land.The elevation at Doi Pangkhon is from 1250-1450mmeter above sea level. Note that we are at 19 degrees north of the equator, which means that this elevation is really high (e.g. Colombia Narino is 1 degree north, Costa Rica Terrazu is 9 degree north so coffee can grow beyond 1600m there). The varietals here are a mixture of Catuai, Typica, Chiang Mai & SJ133. SJ133 is genetically identical to Costa Rica 95, while Chiang Mai is a local hybrid that is a cross between SL28 x Caturra x Hibrido de Timor. In terms of green preparation, the coffee went through a destoner, huller, size grader, density table and ended with handsorting. The green passed through the density table multiple times. We shipped coffee in a triple layered bag, which includes a cotton bag in the outer layer, High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) in the middle layer and hermetic bag in the innermost layer. .