THE STORY OF EL DIAMANTE
In 2015, a very special collaboration started between Keen Coffee and Esteban Villalobos.
Esteban had the idea to create an exceptional coffee and by using techniques he had seen in the wine industry, came up with a new way to ferment coffee. Rob tasted it and was instantly wow-ed by the one-of-a-kind flavour profile. The coffee, known as El Diamante, would lead Rob to the 5th place in the World Brewers Cup and help Mathieu Theis reach 3rd place in the World Barista Championships.
World Championship Coffee
When Keen’s co-founder Rob used this coffee for the first time at the Brewerscup in 2015, everybody was amazed by it’s unique flavour!
With this coffee he became Dutch Brewerschampion and fifth in the finals of the World Brewercup that year! And actualy this was the start of Keen Coffee and the diamond in our logo still reminds us on this start.
El Diamante Tasting Box
Since then, El Diamante has become one of the world’s most recognizable specialty coffees with unique flavour profiles like apple juice or super sweet lemonade flavours. Just before the pandemic hit in 2020, Rob had the opportunity to visit Esteban and taste some news lots.
We’re proud to present these amazing lots in this El Diamante tasting box.
El Diamante Danilo
El Diamante Danilo with a fruity taste profile of Apple Juice.
El Diamante Geisha
El Diamante Geisha with a fresh sweet stonefruit lemonade flavour.
El Diamante L13
L13, a hybrid variety that Rob discovered on the new plantations of Danilo Salazar.
Esteban has perfected the process over the years, but is never satisfied and keeps on finding ways to make it even better. The process itself starts with depulping the coffee cherries and putting it into a tank. Then he adds a mix of different mucilages from other coffees to create more complexity.
The depulped cherries are fermented for 20 hours. By checking the temperature, pressure and other variables multiple times, in addition to sampling the coffee, Esteban decides when it’s time to drain and let the coffee dry on raised beds.
In 2018 Esteban tried something different. Instead of depulping the cherries before he put it in the tank, he now used whole cherries. This process takes more time. Selecting the good cherries from the bad takes more time in de mill and of course you can put more depulded cherries in a tank then whole cherries.
The fermentation in the tank is the same as in the Honey process, but the profile is more heavy in body and sweeter. The cherries are also dried on African beds.
Solar Drying System
For the geisha and other special lots, Esteban uses the solar dryer instead of drying beds. He invested in the solar dryer with the idea to dry coffees faster, which in turn ensures he can taste them quicker to define the flavour profile.
While the machine was actually invented to dry pasta, Esteban, ever inventive, thought it would probably work for coffee cherries as well. And it did! The great thing about this machine is that you can develop different drying profiles. That way you can experiment with various profiles, but most important is that you can dry indoors–removing the problems that often come with drying, like rain or wet conditions, allowing the coffee to dry perfectly.
After drying and removing the skin, Esteban has a green coffee sorter at the mill. This machine can separate bad beans from the good ones. It checks the beans with cameras and blows the bad ones out.
This results in a even more clean cup!
When we were busy founding Keen, Esteban just started with the El Diamante process. Our collaboration started at the beginning of both our companies and because of the collaboration we both had great successes. We also found out that we have the same mindset and creative ideas. It was a pure coincidence that we created a logo in the form of a diamant and Esteban named his coffee El Diamante. A match made in heaven!
Even though we don’t see each other al lot, when we do it’s always great fun, good food and lot of laughs. A coffee friendship that we cherish.
selected with care