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.
El Diamante Roberto Leiva (Geisha)
Gingerbread, jasmin and mango are the main flavours you’ll find in this amazing Geisha, rounded off with black tea, vanilla and a handful of floral notes.
This super complex coffee hits all the notes on the flavour wheel like Mariah Carey! This lot is cultivated by (and named for) coffee-”newcomer” Roberto Leiva and fermented El Diamante-stylez.
El Diamante Danilo
The beans were fermented anaerobically in a stainless steel tank. This process gives a very unique flavour and characteristics, resulting in a high-quality coffee with sweet pastry, cherry and red currant flavour. This coffee offers complexity, and leans on the fruit side.
El Diamante Danilo has a fruity taste profile of Apple Juice.
World Championship Coffee
When Keen’s co-founder Rob used this coffee for the first time during the Dutch Brewerscup 2015, everybody was amazed by its unique flavour.
With this coffee, he became Dutch Brewerscup champion, and fifth in the finals of the World Brewerscup that year. This was the start of Keen Coffee, and the diamond in our logo still reminds us of that start.
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