Luis Campos & Thermal Shock Anaerobic processing

In this post, we're going to do a deep dive into the Thermal Shock Anaerobic process, dreamt up by Luis Campos, owner of the Cordillera de Fuego farm over 10 years ago and put into action in the last 5 years. 

Our new guest espresso comes from a French roaster - Kawa Coffee. This particular lot is sourced from the Cordero Family, one of ten producers from the Cordillera de Fuego farm in Costa Rica. 

Region: Tarrazu, Costa Rica
Producer: Fernando Cordero
Process: Natural - Thermal Shock Anaerobic
Variety: Yellow Catuai
Elevation: 1600 - 1750 MASL


Luis Campos purchased the Cordillera De Fuego farm in 2004 and in the last decade has been experimenting with a few different processing methods - natural, honey, thermic and anaerobic. In this post, we are going to look at the Thermal Shock Anaerobic process, dreamt up by Campos over a decade ago and put to good use for the past 5 years. 



The Cordillera De Fuego farm and wet mill focus on high quality lots and in 20173 joined the NAMA group (Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions) to reduce water usage at the mill, as well as cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. One of the biggest projects saw the installation of solar panels, supplying the main office with 100% solar energy as well as over 50% of the energy for the wet mill.  

This lot in particular is a Natural, Thermal Shock Anaerobic processed coffee. We touched a little on Natural and Anaerobic processes in our previous blog post



Whilst Campos is still somewhat secretive about his thermal processing, we do know that the coffee cherries are picked at its most ripe ensuring the highest sugar content, the thermal process is then introduced by depulping the cherries and exposing the beans to a high heat in direct sunlight, this caramelises the sugars left on the beans in the same way as honey processing. The beans are then placed in hermetically sealed tanks and fermented for a period of 12 - 24 hours, which builds the lactic and malic acids, improving the complexity and adding deeper fruit notes to the beans flavour profile. The fermentation is stopped when the sugars in the mucilage have incorporated properly but before the production of alcohol. 

The final outcome of this process is complex, but clear with notes of funky tropical fruits, apple and cinnamon. Maybe one day Campos will reveal his secrets, but until then, we have plenty of his great coffee to enjoy and ponder. 


- Jordon Jefferies