Ria Lingad – How to make a champion!

Ria has generously shared the fascinating details of her preparation and coffee, below:
We did 3 roasts of the coffee in the Probatino, we only had 3 kilos of the green coffee! I got the green coffee on March 1st, did a small sample roast the next day then Scott roasted 800 grams the same week. We thought we’ve gone a tad dark so Scott did 2 more roasts on Monday 7/3 and Tuesday 8/3 as we thought the coffee needed 4 or 5 days to mature. It was tasting and testing from then on, everyday, so I can decide which one to use on the day. I ended up using the 7/3 batch, the coffee was just beautiful on Saturday!
Colubre is the highest point in Finca Nuguo at 1900 masl. There are 5 areas in Nuguo, divided according to altitude. The Geshas in Finca Nuguo are wild and do not come from any one specific sub-variety of Gesha which make each lot unique, complex and interesting! Stuart also said that the coffee was so delicate and there were many flavours but hard to pin point. I also thought the same, it was like the all those nice coffee nuances in one cup! I was very pleased when the people in the competitor room started slurping the coffee I just brewed, coffee brings together people in such a special way!
I brewed the coffee via immersion for 5 minutes then filtering afterwards. The immersion step is very important as I found that I got a good idea on when the coffee was at its peak when the coffee sinks (absorbing water and therefore extracting) and at the end of the immersion time almost all of the coffee had sunk to the bottom. This is different to under roasted coffee where you have heavy coffee so it sinks anyway! I also found that Colubre got sweeter the longer it’s immersed, but I only had 10 minutes to brew and serve so 5 minutes was the maximum time I could immerse it. On the day too I lowered my water temperature to 98C (around 96C when the water hits the coffee). I found that water off the boil is great when the coffee was younger (1-3 days off roast), but needed less heat as it aged, otherwise the fruit acids overpower the brew.
For the grinding process, with Colubre, the finer I go, the sweeter it gets so I just had to find where it is most balanced. I did not sift the coffee, I found that sifting out the fines take out the sweetness and the brew gets sour (also it was wasteful!). The coffee is pure goodness, so beautiful to cup that’s why I chose the method.
The wooden dripper I used is called Yasukiyo dripper made by wood artisans in Ishikawa, Japan. The inner ribs are spherical and it was the perfect dripper for the purpose of filtering the coffee with very fine bits (15% of the coffee below 300 microns). After 5 minutes immersion, I poured the coffee on the side of the dripper (V60 filter) to make use of all the surface of the paper and ensure the coffee goes around the filter first before dropping down. The fines could clog the filter and hinder good flow down below. I needed to arrest the brewing process within the 2 ½ minute filter down so the flavour and extraction would be as I wanted it.
The cups and vessels I used for service were actually a collaboration with Tim Grocott or Taus Ceramic. We designed the cup for swirling and slurping coffee (the cup has a thin curved lip), nicely curved profile so it’s easy to hold and it’s small at 6 oz for specialty coffee. The mass of the cup is also lesser than traditional coffee cups so the brew doesn’t get too cold during service.
I think that’s it! Oh and so many people helped me!
Scott Pepler – roaster, coach and boss, amazing unparalleled support and push!
Kelsey Carr (QLD Brewer’s Cup Champ) – techniques and strategies in brewing
Tim Grocott (Taus Ceramic) – coffee service set
Casey Deane (Atomic) – provided my second coffee of choice (the Colubre was my third coffee!)
Jeremy of Socratic Coffee – my chief coffee science geek
Jose and Ailenne Gallardo – awesome producers of Colubre
Daniel Humphries, Danielle Canlas of Origin Coffee Network – for making sure I get the coffee in time and arranging the Skype session with Jose
Sylvester Dan Samonte of Origin Coffee Network – for being my sounding board in times of my brewing frustrations, for being an amazing connector and collaborator!
People at work in Cerebos – for the 100% support and to the many practice judges who became my guinea pigs!
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