George Howell is the Man

I feel very smart right now, thanks to George Howell. I think we all do—his lecture on processing methods this morning was just fascinating.

Check out the video Zachary will post soon to watch the lecture in its entirety. I promise you it’s worth it. George knew he was talking to a crowd—there are about 50 people at the Nordic Roaster—that was coming to the table with a pretty impressive amount of knowledge to begin with, so he didn’t waste any time with basics.

Michael, who roasts for S&H, had a question.

Rather, he took off with a lovely presentation filled with slide, moving from the topic of washed coffee, demucilaged and pulp natural quickly and efficiently, communicating his own ideas and opinions about different methods, while encouraging the professionals in the audience to experiment on their own to better form a personal opinion.

Stella, who roasts for Kaffitar in Iceland, was riveted.

George closed the lecture by discussing the very specific idea of completely removing and partially removing the silver skin. He said the taste profile could change dramatically:

No silver skin can result in a very smooth, refined, slightly bland profile.

Partial silver skin often results in crisp acidity and a refined cup, with sweet fruit notes.

Heavy silver skin can result in muddled flavors, an astringent and harsh aftertaste, and an unripe flavor.

To illustrate the point, the group was directed to nearby Solberg & Hansen for a cupping of a Guatemala SHB with varying stages of silver skin. It was awesome, and so obvious in the cup!

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About the Author

Sarah

Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.