This information is included on the label of all kegs in the spirit of transparency and as a form of quality assurance.
There are two main ways to process coffee cherries once they’ve been picked. The oldest way, also known as the “natural” or “dry” method, is to allow the cherry to dry in the sun. The fruit ferments and imparts upon the bean unpredictable flavors. Sometimes this is good but sometimes the fruit rots and the result is very bad. The dry method is unpredictable and inconsistent, but can result in very exciting fruitiness in the cup. The “washed” or “wet” method involves soaking the cherries in stainless steel vats for a period of time, allowing them to ferment briefly and then sending them through a wet mill, removing the fruit before it has a chance to impart much flavor on the bean. This results in more consistency and a “cleaner”, more elegant flavor profile.
Stands for “Total Dissolved Solids” – essentially how strong the coffee is. A regular cup of coffee is made up of about 1.3% to 1.5% coffee bean solubles (including for example, caffeine) with the rest being water(and anything present in the water when it was brewed). An espresso for comparison, has a much higher concentration of coffee solubles, generally 7% to 12.5%. Alchemist Draft Coffee has a TDS of 1.45 – right around the upper end of a strong cup of coffee but not strong enough to give you a headache or make you dizzy like some cold brews can.
Most coffee we drink comes from the species “Coffea Arabica” and within that species are many varietals which affect the flavor of the cup such as Bourbon, Typica and Geisha. This is comparable to wine in that all vines are of the species “Vitis Vinifera” which contains varietals such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The percentage of each individual coffee bean which has dissolved into the water. 32% of a coffee bean is soluble in water but the “sweet spot” for the grinder we use is between 20% and 22% for the “Antithesis Blend” and 21% to 24% for our single origin offerings. This “Goldilocks Zone” of extraction produces a brew with a good balance of acidity, aromatics, tannins and sweetness. The coffee is carefully brewed to include all the stuff that makes coffee taste good while avoiding the compounds which induce bitter, sour or astringent flavors.