KENYA Coffea Circulor Ortho Isolated Batian Natural Multi-Stage Deep Hypoxia NHXKenyaOrthoNHX40g
Finished and shipped from Sweden with standard or express shipment worldwide. Learn more about production cut-offs and shipping here
An original, conscious and responsible research and circular production
“Today, when the water touches the coffee, it is the first time water is applied to this coffee through any stage of the coffee production.”
Using Ortho, a.k.a "B13", placing 1st in the SCA Norway Brewers Cup 2022
Barista, Neongrut Coffee Bar, Oslo, Norway
SCA SCORE 92.00
FLAVOR ALGORITHM AND DESIGN Ivica Cvetanovski
Roasted light based on conduction and moderate heat application with world class skill and care. A short roast, very high front up heat, finishing to focus on fruity flavors, highlighting exotic fruit characteristics with particular attention to our fermentation formulas.
Ortho, from orthographic projections for representing three-dimensional objects from several views and various planes, portraits the Batian variety from several angles and spotlighting what is possible to achieve in Kenya.
|Producer||Coffea Circulor (Ivica Cvetanovski & Macho)
|Varietal||Isolated, Batian, H-grade|
|Process||Natural, Multi-Stage, Deep Hypoxia|
|Trade||12.00 USD/kg (CEP)*. 65 USD/kg (TDC)**|
* CEP - "Customer Expectancy Price".
Here illustrating a typical/"standard Kenyan trade offering" (green coffee) which usually translates to a 16 EUR retail (roasted) on the market in 2021.
** TDC - "True Development Cost".
Here illustrating accumulated costs for administration, communication, research, development, fermentation, drying, milling, logistics, internal/import/export/shipping/certificates. No final production (roasting, analysis, distribution) is accounted for.
|Aroma||Dried date, Roselle hibiscus, Ginger, Tulip|
|Flavor||Coffee cherry liquor, Cider, Honey, Tamarind|
|Aftertaste||Fig, Rooibos, Soju, Volcanic minerals, Long|
|Acidity||Physalis, Lime, Orin apple, Citric, Juicy, Mid|
|Body||Juicy, Vivid, Light|
Ortho continues to explore the augmentation of intense coffee cherry aromatics and flavor. We had one mission with this coffee: To evolve and elevate.
We put great investment in to better understand the development of acids and perception of ‘alcoholic’ nuances that can be inherent from the fermentation of the coffee cherry. We distilled a certain amount of liquor based from Afterlife (Oxyco Batian CCX) to closely study how aromatics and flavors manifest based on the coffee cherry / cascara.
What could possibly introduce ambiguity is when we refer to the coffee cherry, we also account for that (likely) many coffee consumers are not familiar with how the actual coffee cherry fruit tastes in various stages of its lifespan unripe and ripe cherries, picked cherries, fermented cherries and dried cherries.
Through this statement and observation, we wish to illuminate our goal with our research and development of our proprietary fermented Kenyan collection based on our Hypoxia and CCX formulas: To bring the coffee consumer as close as physically possible to not only the classical stated “terroir”, but showing the aphorism “coffee is a fruit” to be true by proof of concept.
Our aim is to push the sensory experience as close to the coffee cherry as possible. This proves to be a difficult task since (probably) many have not tasted a “raw” coffee cherry directly after being picked from a coffee tree. From here, we are also asking us what are the boundaries for a coffee and its selected fermentation formula. Through our research, we have identified specific parameters which can be summarized as some varieties being less or more suitable for exposure for specific types of fermentation. Therefore, one can as what is a "valid or accepted range" before either a coffee is seemingly perceived as being fit for purpose - or better yet: Is fermentation performed just "because" or is there actually any science and theories that work well in practice. Different fermentation formulas applied to specific varieties amplify specific differences between seeds from the same batch / lot.
Optimally understanding how specific parts of the coffee cherry is exposed to various fermentations, for example why particular beans which are picked on the very same minute to hour, fermented in the same batch / lot, display different characteristics such as perforation of mucilage. This, even having the same "in"-data, the "out"-data is different where obvious parameters such as speed of fermentation, different and unwanted environments which lead to non-uniform results. Non-consistency is an undesirable factor which we are striving for to stabilize and seek to completely remove. This also becomes more prominent when the coffee is considered "ready" and also to move the the roasting phase. We strive for predictability and consistency. For future purposes, replicability is very important.
Prior to the fermentation era, some might argue that the coffee industry was rather 2-dimensional: consumers were able to taste various "stages" of coffee roasting, ranging from Maillard to pyrolysis and extended pyrolysis. In recent years, now being 2022, fermentations have become more prominent and also through various technical equipment, data collection and statistics can elevate aromatics and flavors. Using this analogy with roasting that actually takes place later in the coffee production value chain, with Ortho we also investigate how "far" certain aspects in fermentation can be carried out with the Batian variety by eliminating certain unwanted side-effects.
In summary, we have:
- completely eliminated any use of water in all stages of the production phase,
- continued to study our coffee cherry / cascara,
- distilled the dried coffee cherry resulting in an alcoholic beverage to understand the flavors of the coffee cherry,
- better understood how far fermentations are in progress before actual drying commences based on the fact that fermentation is still ongoing until a certain moisture level is reached,
- studying moisture content based on how specific beans are affected by fermentations and why certain beans are more affected than others belonging to the same lot / batch,
- applying various drying techniques such as accelerated versus prolonged drying rates at various stages,
- focusing on stability and consistency.
The manifestation of Ortho
Ortho, a.k.a "B13", was first publicly used at the Norwegian Brewers Cup in Oslo, Norway 2022, placing 1st.
Simen's preferred brewing method
Simen Andersen chose to use Ortho with a modified Coffea Circulor brewing formula tailored for Hario Switch Immersion with Sibarist FAST filters:
- Coffee: 18g
- Water: 240g @ 93°C, TDS: 10mg/l. (Gothenburg, Sweden, tap water),
- 3 pours in total,
- First pour: 50g during 10s to extract the structure of the acidity,
- Second pour: 100g starts at 40s and pours to 01:00, draws down over 20s,
- Third and final pour: 90g to end at 02:00 until release.
Simen's sensory experience
|Aroma||Round, Yellow plum, Floral honey, Cocoa nibs, Red wine, hints of Apple cider vinegar, Raspberries|
|Flavor||(Hot) Cocoa nibs, Yellow plum, Chili
(Warm) Rum liquor, Cinnamon
(Cold) Overripe banana, Vanilla, hint of Clementine
|Aftertaste||Rum liquor, Dark chocolate, Whiskey finish, Long
|Balance||Synergetic - Works well across the temperature spectrum
General observations and recommendations for Ortho
Using various other methods to brew the coffee such as Hario V60, Chemex, conventional immersion such as cupping and "French press", we (Coffea Circulor) can add additional characteristics to each category, all depending on specific temporal aspects, measures and other parameters that are in effect while brewing.
For example, in immersion methods, a dominant 'dragonfruit', black currant, champagne and apple cider-characteristic is present in the dry/bean aromatics, flavor and acidity while a more coffee cherry liquor characteristic is prominent with V60. This is a multifaceted coffee, aimed to also be experienced through multiple methods of brewing and we are glad to be presenting it to you.
We also highly recommend not exceeding 93°C when preparing Ortho due to unwanted side-effects can occur with unfavorable results. As an anecdote, Simen initially started using 96°C and immediately called Ivica expressing "This is not good, it does not taste like it did in Gothenburg". After a short dialog over the phone, we backtracked the "error" to be the water temperature (using 96C instead of 93C). The water was the same tap water from Gothenburg and Simen together with good friend Anton (hand)carried 20 liters of local tap water back to Oslo.
Coffea Circulor Kenya operations
Coffee is boundless, timeless and touches people deeply all across different cultures and generations. We want to take you on a journey where you rediscover Kenya and a new approach to coffee production where the main product is not the coffee as a grain.
The 2022 Kenya projects and production continues to be based on projects and results in the past and present such as:
- Study of botanical varieties in Kenya with focus on rooting systems, physical support, water and heat retention, nutrients, oxygen and soil interaction.
- Panama Finca Deborah Geisha Natural (pre-Afterglow) competition lot 2016 focusing on controlled drying environments, coffee cherry (cascara) and grain aging.
- Uganda Kwoti (a.k.a “Mzungu Project”) from 2016 with support from the Norwegian Government focusing on elevation-based harvesting and kickstarting fermentations.
- Isolated cherry picking, reduced water based fermentation formulas and drying projects in Kenya.
- Drying and macerated fermentation projects at Altieri farms in Panama.
Our intention with Ortho is to go beyond aromatics and flavors, namely to evolve and elevate specific details that are barely spoken about considering coffee production: impact and heritage. A direct example would be climate change mitigation, creating vintages for coffees, studying aging of the grain post-production particular to various fermentations.
In 2005, Coffea Circulor founder Ivica Cvetanovski observed the combination of coffee varieties at Kenyan coffee processing stations. This unification of coffee varieties that make up “mixed lots” at washing stations in Kenya removes the notion of “single estate” and “single variety”. Varieties such as SL28, SL34, Ruiru 11, K7, etc. were “blended” without any particular notion taken to ratio. This is mainly due to small scale farmers / smallholder pick their cherries as a cash crop, delivery to the closest drop off point. Coffee cherries are often personally carried to a local coffee processing station. At the station, cherries are weighted and the producer receive a voucher based on the weight. The voucher can later be redeemed for cash, Mpasa (electronic cash) or other monetary funds. This method of a post-cherry delivery payment is well established in Kenya and also incentivizes the small scale producer to unfortunately not always pay attention the cherries to carry a certain quality. Coffee cherries rather convey a more important heft because it simply is the weight that pays at the nearest processing station. Additionally, no particular notion is put on which varieties are picked and delivered: “the end product is coffee regardless”.
Current and ongoing status in Kenya
The notion of “single variety coffee” in Kenya has transformed to “Kenyan Heirloom”. Like its neighboring country Ethiopia, the term “heirloom” is a “collective” name for both identified and non-identified varieties. It is also a common practice to “mix” lots in Ethiopia, yet the “mix” occurs earlier in the chain of events - namely unconscious picking by the producers based on what coffee trees are present on their land. At times, some knowledge of specific plants on the producer own land is passed on by ancestors or in-depth botanic knowledge.
The Kenyan sorting mechanism of coffee as a grain is well established with its AA, AB, PB, etc. grades. However, there is no particular variety isolated approach or focus before reaching the sorting station and size-sorting. In addition, processing station workers are (mostly) instructed to quickly inspect cherries via visual cues, namely sort out possible greens and slight anomalies. Even if particular small scale producers harvest and bring a specific variety to stations, it is often “mixed” and not processed separately. This is also due to processing small scale or single lots are too small to be cared for. Another straight forward reason is that much more attention is needed for that particular lot to be processed separately. Attention means time and time is money. Namely, it has to be sorted, de-pulped, fermented in a dedicated water tank, dried in parchment on dedicated raised beds and milled separately. Each stage requires meticulous attention and responsibility, traceability and dedicated staff, individually. With the incentive to produce quantity before quality, this is where we are in 2021 and this is what has taken the center stage in our research and implementation.
Whilst there are some recordings of people in general noticing the sensory experience from Kenya “is not tasting as before”, the notion of “black currant” is absent, something that has carried the Kenyan signum, it is mainly as described the result and effect of underpaid coffee producers. With no incentive provided to produce high-quality coffee and focusing on quantity based on only picking cherries, cooperatively owned processing stations collect available coffee cherries and “mix them in one pot”. With no reference to ratios of the varieties being a key reason, there can be many more that go beyond our knowledge. Regardless, it is alarming and must be addressed from mainly two perspectives: quality coffee production requires attention and understanding from everybody - even end-consumers (both retail and wholesalers). Part of this is our developed Customer Expectancy Price (CEP) and True Development Cost (TDC).
Coffea Circulor is transforming the classic Kenyan coffee harvesting, fermentation, drying and trade model which has traditionally been focused on wet fermentation and coffee acquisition of processing stations. Since 2006, we have actively been working in Kenya to establish an open trade platform anchored in a solid pricing model based on the perception of the quality of the coffee. Transparency in Trade, Pricing and Quality was born in Kenya with principles rooted in our past work in the United Nations Environment Programme/GRID.
In order to mitigate the current status and scenario in Kenya, it entails to re-engineer the traditionally fixed-function-pipeline and current coffee value chain from the ground up. In simple terms, we had to restructure the by inverting the Kenyan coffee production pipeline to fit a non-washed fermentation production. All is done from the ground up, “from scratch”, and it is not done overnight:
- Grow, prune and pick isolated varieties at specific Brix levels with dedicated training for helper staff.
- Build internal infrastructure such as dedicated fermentation areas, drying and planning for future milling facilities.
- Careful monitor the changing environment which has been recorded to be changing in the region.
- Implement daily routines for sampling and assessment of ongoing fermentation formulas.
- Calibrate milling parameters primarily on our baseline fermentation where the grain needs attention to resting time in the dried cherry before de-hulling. The hulling procedure needs particular attention based on the specific isolated varieties due to various bean structures and sizes.
- Organize Kenyan export and also Swedish import documentation with dedicated transport.
- Visual and sensory analysis after receiving the goods.
- Analyze the coffee cherry for ORAC values and other valuable qualities.
- In parallel, roast, analyze and optimize each variety with attention to fermentation formulas.
The study of tartaric acids
Our method focuses on studying the non-deterioration time for the coffee cherry. When exposed to various fermentation environments over time, we are targeting whole grain saturation with an optimal amount of exposure before the coffee cherry degradation commences. The nature of the tartaric acid and its relative slower paced microbial growth enables us to control timings, temperatures and fermentation environments by literally guiding the coffee cherry to inculcate into a wedlock. This union is enabled by a state of hypoxia - a state in which oxygen is not available in sufficient amounts meaning not full absence of oxygen - compared to what we know as anaerobic which targets a complete oxygen free fermentation environment. Additionally, we believe surrounding organisms contribute to the development and efficiency of the fermentation parameters.
Tartaric acid is one of the least antimicrobial of the organic acids known to inactivate fewer microorganisms. Tartaric acid suppresses microbial growth in comparison with most other organic acids (including acetic, ascorbic, benzoic, citric, formic, fumaric, lactic, levulinic, malic, and propionic acids) in the published scientific literature.
From a sensory perspective, tartaric acid has a stronger, sharper taste than citric acid. Although it is renowned for its natural occurrence in grapes, it also occurs in apples, cherries, papaya, peach, pear, pineapple, strawberries, mangos and citrus fruits. Tartaric acid is used preferentially in foods containing cranberries or grapes, notably wines, jellies and confectioneries. We have always targeted pronounced acidity in coffee with a focus on invigorating and vitalizing structure.
All components are equally important in our methodology and they are continuously monitored and mitigated for temperature anomalies, evaluated with samples taken and de-hulled daily, showcasing a very repetitive and meticulous advancement.
New coffee cherry focused fermentation formulas are developed by studying tartaric acids and the interaction with the cherry and grain during fermentation.
Our method focuses on studying the non-deterioration time for the coffee cherry. When exposed to various fermentation environments over time, we are targeting whole grain saturation with an optimal amount of exposure before the coffee cherry degradation commences. The nature of the tartaric acid and its relative slower paced microbial growth enables us to control timings, temperatures and fermentation environments by literally guiding the coffee cherry to inculcate into a wedlock. This union is enabled by a state of hypoxia - a state in which oxygen is not available in sufficient amounts meaning not full absence of oxygen - compared to what we know as anaerobic which targets a complete oxygen free fermentation environment. Additionally, we believe surrounding organisms contribute to the development and efficiency of the fermentation parameters. We refer to this as a state of hypoxia.
Our baseline method results in a saturated “red” sensory spectrum dominated coffee, namely a bright, red fruit enabled aromatics and flavors, reminiscent of white flowers, red currant, ripe strawberry and tartaric acid with strong resemblance to cranberry with elements of volcanic minerals. The result is devised with our World Brewers Cup brewing formula One (1:1:1) achieved with roasts at approximately 65 Agtron / “light” using low mineral water at 10 TDS (ppm).
Kindly observe extracting the coffee with higher mineral content in the water will bring forth more bold, darker colored berries such as blackberries, ripe cherries, overripe strawberries, etc.
From here, the coffee is ready for a dedicated transport to Coffea Circulor's premises in Sweden with express service to ensure no aging of the grain is induced with slower paced shipping methods. This is extremely important when working with new fermentations to be able to evaluate the coffee when being genuinely fresh.
In the past and present, significant research has been conducted on how the coffee cherry affects the grain. The entire ambition and implementation rests on an approach where we primarily focus our efforts on developing a highly nutritious coffee cherry as a final product and thinking about the coffee cherry as the primary objective rather than the coffee (grain) as the final product.
Our mission in 2021 was to additionally tackle the observed challenges spanning back more than a decade. in time and set clear goals that go with our visions. The term “coffee is a fruit” takes on a new meaning with our ambition to imbue the coffee with flavors and our previous recorded knowledge and study of nutrients of the coffee cherry. The result is something “for the people” and also “for the people of Kenya” where we show what is possible to achieve.
Key findings and executive summary from this years production:
- Implementation of a multiple variety isolation (MVI) strategy where several Kenyan varieties were explicitly picked and fermented separately, in particular SL28, Batian and Ruiru 11.
- Internal infrastructure (test, analysis and drying facility) has been built, knowledge and awareness has increased propelling Kenyan coffee production into new temporal interlude.
- Completely eliminated any use of water in our natural based fermentation formulas.
- Measuring the occurrence of defects pre- and post-harvest for each isolated variety and its effect on production.
- Residual products, mainly dried cherry (cascara) is both recycled in the upcoming seasonal production and upcycled in the current inline production, namely giving way for re-nurturing soil and producing new key products based on the coffee cherry.
- Reached out to neighboring coffee producers to enlighten and provide incentives to continue to grow and produce coffee based on our previous and current Kenyan operations and observations.
- Established a knowledge sharing programme with farmers in Nyeri to further upscale production and experiments.
- Implemented a Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) model which extends our production areas to include additional coffee producers who pick and provide coffee cherries based on specific criteria.
- Employed several co-workers and established a new entity in Kenya, Coffea Circulor Kenya Ltd.
- Instituted self-sufficiency with internal financial funding, rendering staying true to our developed True Development Cost (TDC) pricing model. This model will and must be utilized and understood by parties entering the later part of the coffee value chain such as for example whole entities and end-customers. This will be rendering a CEP (Customer Expectancy Price) obsolete in comparison to ”other Kenyan offerings” on the market and the perception of how Kenyan coffee is priced to a final customer.
- Reduced the TDC with 50% from previous years offering due to efficiency and optimization across the project scope.
With the 2021 year production, by fully implementing our True Development Cost (TDC) versus Customer Expectancy Price (CEP) for the entire collection of proprietary developed coffees, this range of coffee is not able to be offered at an “expected price” that could be considered being “standard pricing” set by market actors for an origin.
Conclusions and future work
With Coffea Circulor proprietary produced coffees, people can experience them with the equal emotional power as when it was created and bend the human condition towards good. Our goal is to convey this experience which also contributes to the development of regions and cultures.
We at Coffea Circulor have decided to be understood as a brand that conveys emotional experiences in coffee products based on science, innovation, originality, socio-financial approaches, health, improvement of livelihoods, development, payment for ecosystem services and environmental care.
Additional work remains in various categories such as:
- Expanding production areas,
- Implementing more optimal sorting procedures,
- More help with administration and finances is needed,
- Reducing the TDC with the aim to bridge the gap to the CEP,
- Better understand how specific coffee cherry values affect the “quality” of the grain, not roasted and roasted,
- Climate/weather matters, except specific issues already recorded, will need more attention due to spontaneous fluctuations in the local weather affecting production facilities, and
- Additional analysis and conclusions to be drawn from the 2021 production.
As each picked coffee cherry is destined for specific fermentation formulas, we denote each lot carrying the same name with a morpheme. Below is a listing of most common fermentation practices. Please use this reference to better understand the differences between equally named coffees and their fermentation formulas. For example, read a suffix of "NASDX" such as Natural Anaerobic Slow Drying Fermentation".
|RH, WH, BH||Honey Fermentation|
Our World Brewers Cup recipe, One (1:1:1), for Hario V60-01/02 with Hario VCF-01/02 filters:
- Coffee: 20g.
- Water: 300g @ 93-95°C, TDS: 10-50 mg/l.
- 100g of 20 second pours in 3 total pours at 0:00, 1:00 and last pour at 2:00. Finish at 3:00.
- Pour by pulsing in helix formation during 20 seconds, starting from the centre, 5 revolutions per pulse. Ensure no grinds persist on the filter wall in the last pouring pulse.
- At 01:00, 02:00 and 03:00, confirm the filter bed is flat and uniform. Avoid generating cavities and craters.
- Target a TDS reading of 1.40±0.02.
- Adjust only grind size and water temperature.
- Grinding: Target 600-800μm. Example: 28 turns from the finest setting on Comandante.
- If the flow ends past each minute, adjust your grind settings to finer and respectively for slower flow.
- The recipe, technique and formula is singularly linear and time efficient. Learn more about linearly up- and downscaling our recipe here.
Use water with balanced mineral content to optimize flavor and character. Keep Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) between 10-50 ppm or mg/l. We advise a temperature between 93-95°C for the best brewing experience. Target the following values.
|Calcium (Ca)||0.9 mg/l|
|Sodium (Na)||1.7 mg/l|
|Silicon Dioxide (SiO2)||1.4 mg/l|
|Potassium (K)||0.3 mg/l|
|Magnesium (Mg)||0.2 mg/l|
|Sulfate (SO4-)||<7.0 mg/l|
|Chloride (Cl-)||2.5 mg/l|
|Nitrate (NO3-)||0.1 mg/l|
|Fluoride (F-)||<0.1 mg/l|
Please store in a cool and dry place in order to secure freshness and quality. To ensure best possible experience use within 3 months after roast date and 2 weeks after opening. In various environments and setups, your brewing experience can benefit from opening the bag and closing it. Wait one day to brew. We have invested significant time to research the durability of the coffee by actively refining our roasting algorithms to ensure perpetual quality post 3 months of production. Our flavor-lock packaging technology is based on processing and roasting. This ensures persisting and stable aromas, flavors and pro-experience.
Start using at will. Brew immediately or wait several weeks. Prepare for a championship with a strategy. It all depends on your goals.
We recommend using the coffees by first opening the container/bag one day before the first planned brew to enable a natural aeration of the coffees. Use according to the following matrix and remember these are general observations given parameters such as continent, country, region, variety, altitude, process, etc. combined with Coffea Circulor processing and roasting algorithms.
Plan your acquisition according to production schedules (roasting), event attendance (home/championship) and shipping priority (standard/courier).
|0-3 days||Focused acidity|
|4-7 days||Optimal Coffea Circulor recommended praxis|
|8-14 days||Increased floral perception|
|15-21 days||Increased sweetness|
|22+ days||Increased balance|
|1+ month||Intact sweetness, peak intensity|
|2+ months||Inherent balance, possible reduced florals turning herbal|
Made by Kenya
Finished in Scandinavia
We also would like to extend our gratitude to Storm Lunde, Rick Barends, Saun Tan, Denizhan, Kiki, Mustafa, Chris, Stephen, Ellen and many more who have contributed to Ortho.