I feel very smart right now, thanks to George Howell. I think we all do—his lecture on processing methods this morning was just fascinating.
George knew he was talking to a crowd—there are about 50 people at the Nordic Roaster—that was coming to the table with a pretty impressive amount of knowledge to begin with, so he didn’t waste any time with basics.
Rather, he took off with a lovely presentation filled with slide, moving from the topic of washed coffee, demucilaged and pulp natural quickly and efficiently, communicating his own ideas and opinions about different methods, while encouraging the professionals in the audience to experiment on their own to better form a personal opinion.
George closed the lecture by discussing the very specific idea of completely removing beans entirely covered in silver skin. He said the taste profile could change dramatically:
No silver skin can result in a very smooth, refined, slightly bland profile.
Partial silver skin often results in crisp acidity and a refined cup, with sweet fruit notes.
Heavy silver skin can result in muddled flavors, an astringent and harsh aftertaste, and an unripe flavor.
To illustrate the point, the group was directed to nearby Solberg & Hansen for a cupping of a Guatemala SHB with varying stages of silver skin.