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Honduras - Carbonic Maceration

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The Short Version 


The carbonic maceration process is an interesting add-on to wet processing which teases out even more intense and complex fruit flavors while preserving a clean resounding finish. 


In this particular coffee, we’re talking about a rainbow of tropical fruit notes and hints of arroz con leche


More on Carbonic Maceration


After harvesting the red, ripe, beautiful Parainema trees, the fruit is taken down to the mill and cleaned off with fresh water. The rinsed-off, clean whole fruit is hermetically sealed in bags (or tanks) and the pH is monitored for consistency. Once the sugar within the fruit's cell wall has been converted to alcohols and acids by local yeasts and bacterias, the maceration is complete. 


After all that science, the macerated whole fruit is de-pulped and processed like most other wet process coffees, but the mucilage has changed. 


The parchment comes out just as clean as any wet process, but with a deeper stained color due to the increased contact time and different chemical composition from the added maceration step.


...Fine, Even More, You Nerd


There is some discussion whether carbon dioxide should be pumped in or allowed to naturally form. This is what could qualify some lots as "semi-carbonic maceration," because there are a couple hours of aerobic breakdown which causes the formation of CO2, but then it switches to full maceration with still plenty of material to break down and have a desirable change in flavor profile with clean and new intense fruit flavors.