Bryan Alvedar X El Vergel Pink Bourbon Koji


We taste: strawberry mochi, mango, umami 

producer: bryan alvedar / processed at el vergel

Region: huila 

Altitude: 1500m

Variety: pink bourbon 

Process: koji fungus / natural 


Roasters notes:  I’ve wanted to have a Koji processed coffee on the menu since I first started hearing about them a couple of years ago, but it hasn’t fit in to my buying schedule until now, and I’m so stoked to have this available!

Bryan Alvedar grows the Pink Bourbon varietal on his farm in Huila, before sending the cherries off to be processed at El Vergel, a farm owned by Elias and Shady Bayter that specializes in wild fermentations and unique varieties.  At El Vergel, the coffee undergoes fermentation with the Koji fungus for 24-72hrs prior to drying. 

So, what is Koji?  Koji, or Aspergillus Oryzae, is a fungus historically used in Japan to make miso, sake, and soy sauce, among many others.  Koji is high in catalytic enzymes including amylase, which converts starch into simple sugars, allowing more fermentable sugars to be present during fermentation.   In simple terms – Koji unlocks fermentable sugars in the coffee that we didn’t previously have access to. 

In turn, we taste new things in the coffee.  The most unique thing I’ve picked up in the various Koji coffee’s I’ve tried has been a sweetness that reminds me of ice cream, but more specifically, mochi ice cream.   Mochi is a sweet Japanese rice cake – and Koji is cultivated off of rice, so, maybe I’m on to something?  Either way, this coffee is mouth watering, sweet, and a little umami in the best way possible.