Catur and their Experimental Processing: Inoculation
Catur is a collaborative project between So So Good Coffee Company, an Indonesian coffee sourcing consultancy; Dr. Iantan Taufik, B. Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. and Mikael Jasin, a two-time Indonesian Barista Champion.
Catur uses the innovative process of inoculation to draw out flavours from within the coffee. This process involves adding yeast to the tanks during the fermentation process. By utilizing specific strains of yeast, they can control the flavour development of the coffee.
Paul Stephens, the Head Roaster at Rosso Coffee Roasters, provided us with a comparison to help us visualize the process.
“Normally when coffee is fermenting you leave it up to nature; whatever strains of yeast and bacteria are in the air enter the coffee. It’s the same process as when you make sourdough bread; it develops with whatever strains it gathers from the air. Whereas when you make bread with a specific yeast, that becomes the dominant strain in it. That is the same process as inoculated coffee; we are adding one specific strain of yeast in order to make it the dominant flavour.”
Catur employs multiple strains of yeast to develop its four flavour categories. Mikael Jasin, the founder of Catur, explains the characteristics of each profile:
“SENJA means sunset in Sanskrit. Just like the different colour and stages of the sunset, this taste profile is signified by a combination of deeper and complex vibrancy with an accompanying fruit sweetness and rounded body. Senja utilizes blending techniques as well as bacteria and fungi- based inoculants.”
“BUMI means earth in Bahasa Indonesia, the official language of the country. It is our take on a classic Indonesian profile. The coffees under BUMI taste profile have the same chocolatey, brown spices and sweetness that people like about Indonesian coffee but elevated with extra vibrancy and structure.”
“PUCUK means the tip of a tea leaf in Sanskrit. This taste profile includes tea-like elegance with calmer fruit notes. We were able to achieve this through the combination of yeast, bacteria and fungi-based inoculants as well as utilizing the honey processing style.”
“KAMALA means lotus as well as pale red in Sanskrit. This is our take on what Indonesian coffees could be under experimental yet directed post-harvest techniques. KAMALA offers different arrays of fruity, boozy and out-of-this-world flavours! We achieved this through the use of mostly anaerobic natural technique as well as trial-based inoculants.”
Though these coffee beans result in delicious cups, getting there can be a little tricky. Stephens explained to us the roasting hurdles these beans present. “You have to be fairly delicate with this coffee because some of the beans will want to over-roast. Because they have been highly fermented and inoculated there tend to be quite a lot of variants in the sugar levels. It’s a little tricky so we roast it fairly gently. If it is a little too light it can be sharp and biting but if you do too much it will lose the vibrancy. Finding the sweet spot can be harder. I find that generally the best coffees, the complex ones, can be the hardest to roast.”
Inoculated coffees featured in Issue #11
• A natural anaerobic from Bali, Indonesia with tasting notes of elderflower, yellow plum and chardonnay.
• This coffee is a blend of Indonesian and Burundi coffees. The Indonesian in the mix went through the inoculation process to receive the Bumi profile. This resulted in a cup with tasting notes of dark chocolate and molasses.