An interview with Jamison Savage from Finca Deborah
Some of the finest coffee on the planet grows around the foothills of the enormous The Volcán Barú (also known as Volcán de Chiriquí) in Panama — 3,475 metres (11,401 ft) high. And of the many outstanding farms on the side of this famous mountain, one of the most loved is Finca Deborah.
Finca Deborah is an extremely high altitude farm with coffees growing at 1950 m and they were one of the first farms to adopt this method of processing. In 2016 Berg Wu used Finca Deborah’s washed Geisha to win the World Barista Championship in Dublin, Ireland. Here is an incredible list of competitors who have used this coffee in national and World Coffee Events finals. We were lucky enough to interview Jamison Savage as part of our mission to understand how carbonic maceration works with coffee.
BH – Can you tell us the story of how you became interested in processing the coffee from Finca Deborah with carbonic maceration (CM)?
JS – It was during a visit in 2016 with friend and colleague Sasa Sestic from Ona Coffee, Australia. We had just completed a late night cupping and I’d asked in passing, “What’s this carbonic maceration process you won WBC with? How does that work?” He then shared the general concept with me and I let it simmer for a few weeks. I’m a curious soul, so I started digging around the internet and kept coming across references to the wine industry. From there I felt compelled enough to give it a go and began ordering what I thought made sense to conduct the initial experiments. When the hardware arrived intuition and retrofitting began. The initial experiments were rudimentary compared to what I’m doing now, but it was enough.