13. Single Origin Cincinnati Zoo Coffee

This past week my wife and I harvested, pulped, processed, and are now in the process of drying a very select crop of Cincinnati Zoo coffee. I imagine this coffee will exhibit a flavor profile similar to other low altitude, greenhouse grown, constantly prodded at by small children, watered with chlorinated water, moved in a large pot, and subjected to bodily aromas coffee micro-lots. Stay tuned for the cupping.

On another note, and the actual reason behind the harvesting, I was able to use the coffee to create waste water similar to that generated from wet-milling or the washed processed. As of now, there is only a handful of peer-reviewed journal papers discussing waste water generated from wet-milling during the fermentation step. Although there have been a few studies on river impact (Beyene et al., 2011) and human health impact (Haddis & Devi, 2008) of coffee waste water there is still a fairly large gap in risk assessment and the characterization of this waste. There has been success in treating this waste using lagoons and constructed wetlands (Fia et al., 2010), but I believe other low-tech options exist that I would like to test. I’m hoping to use locally grown coffee to generate enough waste water for serious analysis using the overwhelming amount of options available at the University of Cincinnati and the EPA across the street. If successful, not only will I have a fantastic thesis (honestly, how many people get to say their thesis was on coffee) but I hope to publish a peer reviewed journal on the results of my experiments. Needless to say, it’s been a great week.

I’ll do my best to keep the blog updated on interesting findings and when to be looking for that paper! Also, below are some pictures from this week and the coffee processing.

IMG_2120 IMG_2134


Initial soaking


After 2 days (that’s a film on top)


After 4 days (looks like 1/4″ of Jello)


Straining the beans


Mmm, the final product. Unfortunately, I do not believe the fermentation completed after 4 days. This is most likely due to the low temperature of my apartment and lack of sunlight on the coffee.

Also, I promise I will finish up on my initial pour over discussion, eventually.

Further Reading:

Beyene, A., Kassahun, Y., Addis, T., Assefa, F., Amsalu, A., Legesse, W., Kloos, H., and Triest, L. (2012). “The impact of traditional coffee processing on river water quality in Ethiopia and the urgency of adopting sound environmental practices.”Environ.Monit.Assess., 184(11), 7053-7063.

Fia, R., De Matos, A. T., Lambert, T. F., Fia, F. R. L., and De Matos, M. P. (2010). “Wastewater treatment of coffee fruit processing in anaerobic filter system followed by constructed wetland: II – removal of nutrients and phenolic compounds.” Eng.Agric., 30(6), 1203-1213.

Haddis, A., and Devi, R. (2008). “Effect of effluent generated from coffee processing plant on the water bodies and human health in its vicinity.” J.Hazard.Mater., 152(1), 259-262.

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