Fun and innovation is the name of the game with Lacàph’s Lab Series. It’s where we get creative and experimental with Vietnamese beans to create limited edition coffees that are truly out of the ordinary.
Our groundbreaking Lacàph Lab Series is back as we continue our journey of discovery and exploration with Vietnamese coffee beans, launching a second limited edition release coffee like nothing you’ve ever tasted before.
Once again, we have collaborated with our friends at Heart of Darkness brewery, this time fermenting a premium Robusta Sẻ with their Tiramisu Stout beer. Honey fermentation in beer helps reveal complex flavor layers not normally found in Robusta beans, so expect something special.
We’re delighted with the way it’s turned out. The result is a coffee with a soothing sour taste, sweetened with hints of dark chocolate and Vietnamese cacao nibs, and delicate aromas of wine and almond extract.
Much of the magic behind this exceptional coffee is down to the hard work and talent of Anh Phú, owner of the farm where we source our Robusta and a close partner and friend since the early days of Lacàph. Although this was the first time that Anh Phú has fermented coffee with a craft beer, he threw himself into the task with the same zest and enthusiasm he does for everything. And you can taste it in his coffee.
For each 50kg bag of coffee prepared for us, Anh Phú poured in a can of Tiramisu Stout, then filled the container with water before sealing it tightly and leaving it to ferment for 48 hours. Once this stage of the fermentation process was done, the coffee was peeled and the husks spread out to dry in the sun until they reached a moisture level of between 12 to 13%.
The drying process is divided into two steps. After the first 48 hours, Anh Phú spread the coffee out in a thin layer for it to finish the fermentation process. Once this was done, he brought the coffee together to dry for a further twelve days before ‘resting’ it in a warehouse for four months.
By May 2022, the beans had reached their peak flavors and, after hand-screening them to remove defects and leave only the highest quality, the beans were shipped to the Lacàph Roastery in Sài Gòn for us to start the roasting process.
But our Lab Series 2 is not just about producing an exceptional coffee. We wanted to go a step further, and share our passion for Vietnamese culture. With this goal to achieve, we collaborated with Vietnamese artist, Khim Đặng, and commissioned a unique work of art that perfectly captures how we feel.
Khim is a virtuoso when it comes to producing his captivating style of art. He’s spent over a decade practicing and honing his skills, and we’re delighted that he’s taken the role of Lead Visual Artist for our Lab Series 2.
Việt Nam, his country of birth, is an endless source of inspiration for Khim, and he incorporates intricate details of the scenes around him into every picture he creates. Each piece he produces is done to touch his audience emotionally.
“We have our own language, our own unique culture. We do everything with pride of Vietnamese blood." Khim explained as he shared more about the inspirations behind his work. This is one of the reasons we partnered with him to celebrate our passion for Vietnamese coffee culture with his artwork ‘Dòng,’ which Khim has created especially for our Lacàph Lab Series 2.
The title Khim chose for the work captures the spirit and ethos of the culture we want to honor. ‘Dòng’ represents the cyclic nature and flowing repetition of life, and the artwork that Khim has created for us traces the flow of our coffee beans as it progresses from bean to cup.
The image portrays each step of their journey, from cultivation to processing and roasting, until they finally become the drink we enjoy as such an indispensable, valued part of our everyday life. Our Lab Series 2 breathes freshness and innovation into a mesmerising flow that has been long established through years of coffee production in Việt Nam.
In addition to being featured on the label of our Lab Series 2 coffee bags, elements of Khim’s design appear on the accompanying merchandise, including prints, t-shirts, postcards, tumblers, bandanas, and other fun products.
Click here to explore and purchase our Limited Edition collection.
For the Lacàph Lab Series I, our first release under the Lab Series project, we partnered with Heart of Darkness Brewery to bring you a coffee fermented using their BiA all-malt craft lager. This partnership, along with the expertise of Farmer Ngọc, results in a unique coffee with balanced and lingering flavors of lychee and stone fruits such as apricot and peach.
“When it comes to beer, fermentation is essential. It’s quality determines how much alcohol is produces and how much carbohydrate remains. That can have profound effects on not only how drunk you might get but also if the beer drinks dry, sweet, full or thin. In terms of flavour impact, hops can sometimes dominate the conversation, but even in a hoppy beer, an American ale yeast versus a Belgian ale yeast can have very different taste profiles. And in some styles like light lagers, the main sensory difference is often from the yeast. Sometimes, it’s the choice of yeast strain itself, sometimes process control, things like oxygen level, sugar content, and temperature.” – Neil Wood, Master Beer Brewer, Heart of Darkness Brewery.
"Historically, fermentation in wash-processed coffees was done to remove bean mucilage. Today, fermentation is becoming one of the more critical processes to enhance coffee characteristics and draw new flavors from green beans. Lacàph believes that researching and developing fermentation can help lead Vietnam to produce world-class coffees." – Scott Sehoon Bahng, Product & Service Director, Lacàph.
We want to thank our friend Anh Ngọc, who worked with us on our first Lab Series concept, together discovering how we can develop flavors with beer fermentation. We had such a pleasure roasting what he sent us.
By happy chance, Farmer Ngọc is a craft beer lover and a fan of Heart of Darkness Brewery. Ngọc combined BiA with pulped coffee cherries in tanks and let them ferment for 36 hours. The resulting honey-processed parchment coffee was sun-dried for 15 days to have a perfect moisture content before shipping to Lacàph for roasting.
Anh Ngọc combined BiA with pulped coffee cherries in tanks and let them ferment for 36 hours. The resulting honey-processed parchment coffee was sun-dried for 15 days to have a perfect moisture content before shipping to Lacàph for roasting.
We‘ve used the finest quality Arabica beans from Lâm Đồng to create a truly unprecedented limited edition roasted coffee.
For a short time only, our unique Lacàph BiA Fermented Coffee is available in a 750-gram premium metal growler of whole-bean coffee and BiA Fermented Coffee Cold Brew Bags for simple and easy to make cold brew at home. Customers purchasing the growler will also enjoy 30% off every fill of beer for the lifetime of your growler at the Heart of Darkness Taproom.
Pre-orders for Lacàph Lab Series I, Lacàph BiA Fermented Coffee will be taken from International Beer Day, August 6th. This is a unique limited edition coffee with no re-production plans. Customers will be notified when their order is ready for delivery or collection.