In the early ‘900 in the Botanical Garden of Palermo, they were cultivating a dream of a Mediterranean coffee, when a severe winter destroyed the plantation. Today, in the countryside of Terrasini (Palermo), following the same dream Rosolino Palazzolo of ‘Orto of Nonno Nino‘, a farm specialized in the organic cultivation of exotic fruits, and Isidoro Stellino, fifth generation of a family of coffee roasters from Alcamo (Trapani), are moving the first steps in an unprecedented commercial project.
Those obtained so far are only the promising results of the experimentation phase with two harvests, but this coffee could aspire, especially for the unique Mediterranean origin, to conquer a space in the niche of the rarest ones that include Kopi Luwak, Jamaica Blue Mountain, Monte Everest and Black Ivory coffee, which is sold for over 80 dollars a cup. Stellino anticipates: “We want to get to a plantation of two hundred and fifty Arabica so you can propose a coffee of the highest profile.
We are refining the entire production cycle. We begin with a manual harvest with the picked coffee method, meaning more picking rounds to choose each time the perfectly ripe berries. We continue with the honey method fermentation, which in the future will take place barriques where wine has been refined, so to obtain sweetness, aromatic complexity, and well-balanced acidity. Then, we dry in the sun, even if at this stage we are testing dryers at a constant temperature of 45 degrees. These are steps of a careful process that preserves the properties of raw coffee. And, finally, there is the wisdom of roasting to ensure the excellent quality of the coffee.”
It will be some time before the coffee made in Sicily will be available on the market, but eventually, it will be possible to buy it together with other two specialties for health-conscious tea lovers: coffee tea made with dried peel of coffee cherries and one made with one of the films that encapsulate the beans. Both recommended for their countless properties, primarily antioxidants ones.
Ilona Catani Scarlett