What is Thermoshock Coffee?
Thermoshock coffee is a revolutionary approach in coffee processing, where coffee beans undergo dramatic temperature changes while they are being processed. This method of coffee processing, far from being a mere fad, has a profound impact on the final flavour profile of the coffee beans and opens up a world of opportunities for farmers to experiment with and for coffee lovers to enjoy.
How does the Thermoshock process work?
The process begins with meticulous bean selection, focusing on quality and flavour potential. These beans are then prepared by removing excess moisture and contaminants, preparing for the thermoshock treatment. The crux of this process involves subjecting the beans to extreme temperature variations, often plummeting to -50°C to -80°C and then rapidly heating to 30°C to 60°C. This shock treatment, which can employ methods like dry ice or liquid nitrogen as well as cold-washing and then hot-washing, is not just a dramatic shift in temperature, it's a carefully controlled procedure that fundamentally alters the bean's cellular structure and flavour profile.
What does Thermoshock coffee taste like?
Expect a symphony of flavours from thermoshock coffee. This method enhances the coffee's natural oils, flavours and aroma, redistributing and stabilising them within the beans. Post-rest and roast, these beans express a deeper, more nuanced taste profile. It's not just about intensity it's about clarity and the complexity of flavours, often resulting in a cup that's both bold and refined.
Paired with different yeast strains and coffee varietals you have an infinite amount of combinations to experiment with.
What is a coffee varietal?
Coffee varietals refer to the specific subspecies or cultivars of coffee plants, each with unique characteristics and flavour profiles. Like grapes in winemaking, these varietals play a crucial role in the final taste of the coffee. The choice of varietal is a critical first step in thermoshock processing, as different varietals respond distinctively to the thermal shock treatment.
How does processing coffee affect flavour?
Coffee processing is the alchemy that transforms the raw coffee cherry into the beans we know and love. Each step, from picking to drying, influences the final flavour. Methods like thermoshock add an innovative layer to this process, enhancing and stabilising flavours that are often lost in traditional methods. It's a blend of art and science, where controlled fermentation, temperature shifts, and drying all contribute to a unique flavour profile.
Science of Thermoshock Process
At its core, thermoshock is a scientific endeavour. It's about understanding and manipulating the coffee bean's biochemistry. For instance, Wilton's Thermo Shock process involves a meticulous sequence of blanching, fermentation, and thermal shock, each stage designed to optimise flavour and aroma compounds. The final rinse, pivotal in 'locking in' these compounds, is more than just a cleaning step; it's the culmination of a carefully orchestrated process to produce a coffee that's not only delicious but also consistently replicable in its quality.
If you're interested in trying some thermoshock processed coffee beans we have had multiple coffees available in the past that have been processed using this method, have a quick look at our current coffee offerings.