Farm: Vuong Farm
Process: Anaerobic Honey
Region: Lam Dong
A soft and sweet cup with hints of orange zest and vanilla. White grapes and Hazelnut in the cup with a touch of cocoa in the finish.
The acidity is very mild making this a great choice for espresso with or without milk added. As espresso we find notes of cherry, hazelnut, and cocoa.
A 12 hectare farm at 1360-1520 masl in Lam Dong province not far from the town of Dalat. Here 33 year old Hiếu Vương Đình and his younger brother grow a few specialty heirloom varieties beyond the common Catimor derived strains planted in the region such as Java, Red Bourbon, and Orange bourbon. They have two mills. On their parents' 4 hectare plot they process naturals, and on the brothers' newer 8 hectare field they process washed and honey coffees. Both are dried in covered drying buildings on raised screens.
The Red and Orange Bourbon they harvest together and process it as an anaerobic honey. Pulping the cherries first and then fermenting them for 72 hours in sealed bags before putting them out to dry.
About Orange Bourbon
The Bourbon variety is one of the two major cultivated varieties from which most coffee growing around the world today descends (The other being Typica)
In 1718 seeds from Yemen were brought to the French colony on Reunion Island near Madagascar, The called Bourbon Island after the French House of Bourbon which ruled France at the time. Around 1860 plants from Reunion were brought to mainland Africa and to Brazil. The coffee depended from these plants came to be known as the Bourbon variety after the name of the island at that time.
Bourbon can still be found fairly commonly in Africa, Brazil, and some countries in Central America such as Guatemala and El Salvador.
The bourbon variety usually produces red fruit, but mutations have ocurred where the fruit color is yellow. There is a cultivated variety called Yellow Bourbon which is rarer but still not too uncommon which resulted from a natural cross of Red Bourbon and a Yellow fruited Typica plant called Yellow de Botucatu in Brazil in 1930 and was released commercially to growers in the early 1950's.
And then there is Orange Bourbon, the origins of which are more murky. Any time there are red and yellow fruited trees in the same field it is possible to get some plants of an intermediary orange color or pink color.
As a cultivated variety Orange bourbon is exceedingly rare. Occasionally grown still on a handful of farms in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras.
As far as to how orange bourbon came to Vietnam, we aren't sure. Vietnam being a former French colony used to have lots of Bourbon variety coffee growing there in colonial times. Yellow bourbon exists there so it isn't surprising there is also orange bourbon.
Orange bourbon has a cup profile in between red and yellow bourbon. It has the well balanced sweet cup of red bourbon, but a more delicate flavor profile of caramel and citrus that is more like yellow bourbon.
Due to its susceptibility to diseases and low yeilds compared to other varieties, Bourbon varieties are grown less and less each year. Vuong farm has begun replacing much of their Bourbon plantings with Java variety.