Farm: Vuong Farm
Process: Champagne Natural
Region: Lam Dong
Rose, Tangerine, Cherry. A delicately perfumed cup reminiscent of Rose Apple/Pomarosa. A citric acidity livens the cup. Berries, Jackfruit and milk chocolate in the cup. The most complex coffee we have tasted yet from Vietnam and an excellent example of the Java Variety
Last November Miguel travelled to Vietnam to meet up with Rae of Karmic Circle Coffee Trading and visit Vuong Farm near Dalat, whose coffees we have been buying the past 3 years. While there we set up some trial fermentations of our champagne natural process with wine yeasts on Catimor and another variety they have been calling ‘Typica Longberry’
Miguel didn’t think it was Typica, but rather the ‘Java’ variety- A high cup quality Ethiopian Landrace. We had samples of the coffee sent to RD2 in France for genetic testing and the Longberry was confirmed to be a 100% match for Java variety. Only 50lb was produced this year, but hopefully next year Vuong Farm can produce more for us!
About Vuong Farm
A 12 hectare farm at 1360-1520 masl in Lam Dong province not far from the town of Dalat. Operated by two brothers: Trung and Hieu. They are second generation coffee growers continuing the farm their parents started. Both in their 30's, they are some of the youngest growers in their area. they grow a few specialty heirloom varieties beyond the common catimor strain planted in the region such as Java 'Longberry', Yellow Bourbon, and Orange bourbon. They started getting involved in the family farm a few years ago just as the specialty coffee cafe scene was getting started in Vietnam. They are one of the few producers in Vietnam offering arabica varieties other than Catimor and have been doing anaerobic fermentations for several years now.
About Java Variety
In 1928 PJS Cramer from Indonesia travelled to Ethiopia, then called Abysinnia and brought back seeds to the agricultural station he worked at on Java Island.
These plants proved to be rather resistant to the coffee leaf rust disease and were eventually distributed to growers as 'Abysinnia'
In the 1950's the Vilmorin company brought seeds of this variety to the West African nation of Cameroon. Since they collected the seeds from the island of Java they called this variety 'Java'
In Cameroon this variety also proved resistant to coffee leaf rust, and their they also discovered selections form it that were resistant to coffee berry disease. After several years of pure-line selection the 'Java' Variety was released to growers in Cameroon beginning in 1980.
In 1991 it was brought to Central America by CIRAD. This material was distrubuted to many countries in Central America. The Meirisch Family in Nicaragua was one the the first to recognize the quality potential of this variety. Their entry of their 'Javanica' variety (genetic testing has shown it to be a perfect match for Java variety, before this technology was available they weren't 100% sure the true identity of this variety) in the 2006 Nicaragua Cup of Excellence took 2nd Place.
By the early 2000's the Java variety had been brought to Laos in South-East Asia. Vuong Farm acquired the seeds of their 'Longberry' variety from Laos.
This variety shows a lot of potential complexity. Acidity is generally lower than the Gesha/Geisha T.2722 variety but it shares floral and citrus qualities with this variety. The variety seems to respond very well to natural processing and various methods of extended fermentation.
Champagne Natural Process
A method we pioneered in Hawaii and have begin teaching to a handful of our suppliers around the world. Coffee Cherries are rinsed and floated and then submerged in water and fermented for several days with selected strains of wine yeasts. The yeasts produce fruity esters along with helping to reveal some of the varietal aromas from the coffee cherries. The resulting coffee has the mouthfeel and acidity of a washed coffee with enhanced fruit and floral notes and a white wine-like flavor