To make the most of the full harvest, the folks at Monteblanco measure the degrees Brix of each lot of cherries as they come off the trees to determine the sugar content. Based on the amount of sugar in the coffee cherries, Monteblanco uses a protocol — established through years of testing, trial, and error — to designate the appropriate processing for each lot.
28 degrees Brix — Cold Fermentation Washed
After harvest, floater cherries are removed and the remaining defect-free cherries are packed in GrainPro bags and placed in a refrigerator with a temperature between 12–15° C for 52 hours. Placing cherries in a refrigerator slows the fermentation process so that the bean has time to absorb the cherries’ sugars, without risking the over fermentation that can occur rapidly at higher temperatures.
After they are removed from the refrigerator, cherries rest for 8 hours to reach ambient temperature. Cherries are then taken directly to solar drying beds where they dry three days, after which they are transferred to shaded beds to dry for the remaining 30–37 days. This method optimizes the higher sugar content while using lower temperatures to prevent the occurrence of defects commonly associated with Natural processing.