What is Salt Marsh Coffee? Well lets start with Monsoon Malabar which many of you will have heard of, inspired by the South West coastal regions of India, Monsoon Malabar is a process applied to freshly harvested coffee beans. The seeds are exposed to the Monsoon rains for three to four months. These tropical rains cause the beans to swell whiledecreasing their original acidity. This results in a smoother flavour profile with a lower PH balance. The Roastery has sought out an environment in the UK to create a coffee as unique and special, with smooth full flavours and low acidity. Marcel, one of the Director’s thought that the Norfolk salt marshes would be the ideal place to experiment with a UK variation. One of The Roastery@Bellabarista's directors is a frequent visitor to Norfolk and was tasked with finding a suitable place to put the plan into action. After some detective work he came across a quirky floating boat house set amongst the Norfolk salt marshes where we hung a test batch of the famous Camocim Estate green coffee beans for the duration of the English “monsoon” season!
Would storing the coffee in the Norfolk salt marshes change the complexity and taste of the coffee?
The first coffee sack was stored throughout the winter, checked occasionally by Harry, the owner of the boat house to make sure nothing untoward was happening. The initial batch was retrieved and taken back to The Roastery in the heart of Northamptonshire in March 2018 for sampling.
At first sight there was a definite change in the colour of the beans. We roasted and cupped the coffee checking the PH and ultimately the taste. We found there had been a significant change in the coffee. Cupping revealed a less acidic flavour. The Norfolk salt marshes ageing process had given a smoother mouth feel and salted popcorn finish on the tongue. After the success of the first batch, we decided to put a larger quantity through the same process. Larger premises were
required and another salt marsh boathouse that fittingly had been used for taking grain off sailing barges, was found and became the location for the second batch of beans for the next six months.
The unexpectedly dry summer created a gentle change to the salt marsh process. The taste outcome is a very delicate, smooth
profile with subtle salted popcorn finish.
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