While visiting the Ona Coffee complex in Canberra, down in the depths of the factory was brewer and green bean buyer Yanina Ferreyra of Project Origin, putting the final touches on her championship routine. Having won the Australian Brewers Cup championship, held at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo earlier in 2019, Ferreyra was soon to be heading off to Boston to compete in the World Brewers Cup. While Ferreyra would not advance to the finals, her technique and routine showcased the cutting edge of coffee.
Starting with the bean, Ferraeyra had selected a Geisha varietal from Panama, sourced in collaboration with Savage Coffees. Farmed at Finca Deborah and grown at a particularly high altitude, 1900 metres above sea level. This has allowed for the development of an exceptionally complex coffee. Using a controlled fermentation processing method, a unique flavour profile has been created, and one that Ferreyra showcased.
Naming the coffee Opal, Ferreyra’s routine sought to highlight the variation in flavour that could be extracted through brewing this coffee. Just as the opal gemstone continas multiple colours, this coffee would vary from deep blackcurrant, to light honeydew melon, with aromas from sweet strawberry candy to floral white roses.
Communicating these flavours to the judges is key for Ferreyra and in her routine, Ferreyra passed out a chart of a series of colours corresponding to changes in temperature and the resulting changes in flavour. From blue at the hottest, to green then yellow and red, the areas marked the changes in flavour at various temperatures. Ensuring that this was not missed, Ferreyra and her team at Project Origin have developed infrared temperature gauges that can be placed above the cup to indicate what temperature the brew is at, which judges can match to the corresponding colour and flavour.
The combination of precision in the processing and tasting, with the more subjective associations that Ferreyra has drawn upon to design her routine highlights how today, coffee is a melding of science and art.