Q Processing 3: Jorge Luis Martínez Marín

Jorge Luis Martínez Marín is from Mexico and and lives in Veracruz State. He is a coffee advisor in postharvest processing, and a Q arabica & Q processing instructor too. He has spent his professional life in the coffee industry as small coffee producer, cupper, roaster and coffee extension agent, working with small coffee producers and coffee technicians in several states in the Mexico.

CQI: You are an accomplished coffee professional, what made you decide to complete the Q Processing 3 course?

Jorge Luis Martínez Marín: Actually, there were several reasons that motivated me to enroll  in the QP3 program, among then my interest in in-depth knowledge  about coffee processing, continuing professional development in my coffee career and also to become a coffee researcher in postharvest processing.

CQI: One of the most demanding parts of the QP3 program is the independent research project, please tell us about yours.

Jorge Luis Martínez Marín: In my final project I worked with honey processed coffees, and it was based on the premise that the real impact on the cup quality  is caused by the degree of fermentation and not by the dark color in the parchment. Many people think that a black honey coffee has a higher score than a yellow honey coffee (we although know these two kind of coffee treatments have a different flavor style). In other words, I took one of the assumptions that can be false in our coffee industry: If the color darkness in the honey coffee parchment is higher, cupping score will be higher too.

So, I assessed the impact that fermentation has on the sensory quality in the honey coffees with a different amount of mucilage and therefore different color degrees. For this, nine treatments were carried out in duplicate in multiples of 6 hours of fermentation. One of the conclusions was that there exists a direct correlation between the Brix degrees and the final cup score, because the highest score was reached with 12 hours of fermentation after pulping and with the maximum of Brix degrees. The parchment color in this treatment was an intermediate degree.

The darkest treatment was achieved with zero hours of fermentation, but it did not get the highest score. The treatment with thirty hours of fermentation reached the highest score and showed one of the lightest colors in its parchment. My conclusion was that the darker color in the parchment in a "honey" coffee does not guarantee the highest score, and a high score can be achieved with a longer fermentation time without the parchment color being too dark.

I also could see in the experiment results that an excessive fermentation time (greater than 36 hours) can give a dry or resinous note in the cup, and an unclean aftertaste.

However, these results are only for a particular farm and should be corroborated with new experiments on the same farm and other ones.

CQI: Very interesting! What is next for you in coffee?

Jorge Luis Martínez Marín: I plan to continue with my activity as a coffee extension agent, and also I would like to keep intensively working and researching in the area of coffee processing.