China Banka Washed - Filter

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China Banka Washed - Filter

This is one of two Chinese Coffees that have been bought this year, very excited to have Banka back in the roastery, just the washed this time around but very happy and impressed with the improvement in quality again this year and with such a flexible coffee, we have roasted the washed Banka for both Espresso and Filter.

Thanks to Indochina for the continued connection with this amazing origin! 

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  • Producers + Mill:

Banka farm and washing station is based in Menglian Dai, Lahu and Va Autonomous County, Yunnan and is named after the two nearby villages (Banka Yi and Banka Er) where the coffee cherry for these lots is grown and harvested. Cherry processed at Banka washing station is also grown at the nearby village of Aqi Badu as well as within the farm itself.

The harvesters who bring cherries to Banka washing station are predominantly Lahu – an ethnic group that lives across China, Myanmar, Laos and Thailand.

Banka farm and washing station was originally developed by Mr. Hu, a native of Yunnan, who has been producing coffee in Menglian for almost 20 years. He was one of the first farmers to engage in large scale coffee production in the county, working in partnership with Nestle and the local government. Mr. Hu is held in high esteem within the local area, employing hundreds of harvesters from various ethnic groups across his farms each year.

In 2018, Yunnan Coffee Traders (YCT) took over the management of the Banka wet mill and a portion of the Banka farm, some 100 hectares of land, installing one of the region’s first optical sorters, experimenting with processing methods such as yeast fermentation and growing new varieties such as Pacamara and Yellow Bourbon. Banka farm produces both the company’s volume washed specialty lots, much of which is sold to Australia, as well as natural and honey process micro lots.

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  • Variety:

Catimor-

Catimor was developed in Portugal in 1959 by scientists searching for the magical formula of high yields, high disease resistance and small plant size (i.e. higher density planting). The variety is a hybrid of the Timor Hybrid (resistant to coffee leaf rust due to its Robusta genetic roots) and Caturra.

Catimor trees are small in size, allowing for more dense plantings, and fruit is quick to ripen, guaranteeing high productivity if well maintained. Its branch is ramified similarly to C. canephora plants and its leaves have a tell-tale reddish brown hue when they are just emerging. One of the main challenges in cultivating Catimor can be the inputs (fertilisation and shade) required to maintain productivity, which need to be monitored very closely and can be costly.

Today Catimor is common throughout Indonesia and Vietnam. In the wake of Central America’s coffee leaf rust crisis, it is also becoming increasingly common at higher altitudes in countries such as Mexico and Peru.

One of the major issues often cited with Catimor is the issue of cup quality. At low altitudes, there tends to be little or no sensory difference between the variety and other C. arabica varieties. Distinction in taste can arise, however, when the plants are planted higher than 1,200 metres above sea level. In such cases, many would express a preference for Caturra, Bourbon and Catuaí. However, we’ve met Catimors that we like very much, indeed – for instance, those from Vietnam and Indonesia. We maintain that well-cared-for and well-processed Catimor can display great characteristics. (Info from Mercanta Coffee)

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  • Process:

Washed coffees are first pulped and then dry-fermented for 18 hours. Next, they are run through density channels before being spread out on drying patios for approximately 5-8 days.

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  • Region: Yunnan - Menglian Dai, Lahu and Va Autonomous County
  • Producer: Yunnan Coffee Traders
  • Wet Mill: Banka
  • Importer: IndoChina
  • Price (green ex Shipping): £8.50 pkg
  • Variety: Catimor (P3 / P4)
  • Process: Washed
  • Altitude: 1350 masl
  • Amount Bought: 240kg
  • Tasting: Refined, Medium/High Acidity, High Sweetness. 
  • Flavours like: Kanzi Apple, Lemon tart, Demerara Sugar