LATE 2020 COLOMBIA SZN
There’s a fair amount of guesswork in buying green coffee – supply chain complexities and constantly shifting logistics make for unpredictable arrival times and occasional unplanned combinations. That said we couldn’t be happier to share THREE disparate but harmonious coffees from Colombia! Each coffee represents HARD work by single farmers and the support networks their communities offer. On one end, Finca El Alto delivers a balanced sweetness and nuttiness; on the other end, Jorge Rojas brings a wild complexity from expert fermentation practices. In between the two, Hugo Gonzalez at Finca El Eden presents a perfect marriage of approachability and wildness, a nicely balanced, elegant cup.
One of the most important goals we strive for is shortening the gap between both ends of the coffee value chain. Our work with trusted importers has led us to the opportunity to support farmers by not only purchasing wild, high scoring lots but to buy coffee that would normally be bulked in community lots. Husband and wife team Hector Osorio and Adirana Aldana of Finca El Alto in Santa Maria, Huila, Colombia grow mainly Caturra and Typica varietes up to a whopping 2,150 meters above sea level. We were happy to purchase an exclusive field blend of their coffee that would've ended up in a regional blend, earning them less money. We love Finca El Alto as an approachable, indelibly sweet option on our menu and have pre-committed to buying a similar lot from next season's harvest.
In Tolima, Colombia, Jorge Rojas has become a fermentation wizard through many seasons of curious experimentation and iteration. His current method of processing his coffee cherries includes ripe picking (obvious), cold, controlled fermentation in a low-oxygen environment (in pickle barrels!) for up to 62 hours and then a single, full wash, then a day on raised beds and finally 23-28 days in enclosed mesh beds. The result is extremely special and beautiful – big dessert vibes here – cherry sauce poured over vanilla ice cream with lakes of warm caramel pooling around the bowl.
Hugo Gonzalez is an excellent example of small farm production in Colombia - growing a mix of Castillo, Caturra and Variedad Colombia varieties in Huila, Colombia on 3 hectares at 1,850 meters. This is the second year our importer The Coffee Quest has purchased from Hugo. The coffee undergoes a 36-42 hour (mostly) dry fermentation process after depulping. It then spends 20-30 days on raised beds in a greenhouse depending on weather conditions. This level of production is indicative of how Hugo's coffee translates in the cup; BIG red fruit presence – much like our favorite childhood candy, the Red Vine! We also taste light and sweet honey and a unique, indelible earthiness (almost like red currant) that grounds the whole structure. Perfect winter coffee right here!