ROAST | LIGHT MEDIUM
ORIGIN | LA PLATA, HUILA, COLOMBIA
NOTES | BLACK RASPBERRY, BLUEBERRY LIQUEUR, CRAFT CHOCOLATE
DelAgua Coffee is becoming a regular household name here at the roastery; you’ve likely seen them alongside several Colombian producers on our labels in recent months. DelAgua is responsible for producing green coffee at La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, a “magical region” with a richly diverse microclimate that is fiercely protected by the folks at DelAgua and the farmers with whom they collaborate. One of these such farmers is Gabriel Campos, and we are thrilled to share a beautiful natural lot from his farm with you today!
You know we love an anaerobic natural from Colombia! This lot underwent anaerobic fermentation in plastic tanks for sixty hours at a temperature no higher than 30 degrees Celsius. The beans then underwent two stages of drying: first, on a solar patio for three days, and then in mechanical dryers for an additional six days until they reached optimum moisture content.
The resulting cup of coffee is an absolute fruit bomb! With notes of black raspberry, blueberry liqueur, and craft chocolate, sipping this coffee makes us think of chocolate-covered fruits - not the kind you’d find in a grocery store, but the sort of thing you’d carefully select from a display case at a fancy chocolatier’s shop.
Producer | Gabriel Campos
Process | Anaerobic Natural
Variety | various
Elevation | 1600 masl
ROAST | LIGHT MEDIUM
ORIGIN | APONTE, NARIÑO, COLOMBIA
NOTES | TANGERINE, GREEN APPLE, TEPACHE
If you've been around here awhile, you might recognize the Aponte Honey label. We have had the privilege of featuring several lots from the Aponte community in southeastern Colombia over the years, but this one is something special. Unlike many of the other lots we've purchased from Aponte, this is a single-farm lot produced by one family in the Inga tribe, Familia Chilito. The coffee they've produced is wildly (see what we did there?) off-profile from other Aponte Honey lots we have had in the past, and we are really excited to share this new flavor experiment with you.
The honey processing method can be thought of as an "in-between" method of processing, compared to washed and naturally processed coffees. Using this method, the coffee is picked and sorted as red cherries before being pulped (removing the skin of the coffee cherry), but the small layer of fruit underneath the skin is left behind. The seeds - with their sticky fruit intact - are set out to dry, either on raised beds or patios. It is this added contact time between the fruit and the seed that, when done well, adds an intense sweetness to honey processed coffees. When done poorly, however, the entire flavor of the coffee will be dulled. It is no wonder, then, that the honey processing method is quite rare in Colombia; in fact, we really only see them regularly coming from the Aponte community in Nariño. There are certainly risks being taken with this method of processing, but the farmers in the Aponte Village navigate those risks beautifully, and this coffee is a stellar result.
Our most recent Aponte Honey lot gave us notes of red cherry, sweet oranges, and brown sugar, for reference. THIS lot, brought to us by the lovely Familia Chilito, is something altogether different. It's, well, wilder. It trades some of that intense sweetness for a more vibrant acidity. In the cup, we tasted tangerine, green apple, and tepache (a fermented beverage made from the peel and rind of pineapples!). The tasting experience is sort of akin to diving into a bag of Tropical Skittles, or sipping a pet nat wine. We hope that sipping this coffee will pique your interest in a relatively rare processing method while also inspiring an appreciation for the farmers and producers who execute that method so beautifully.
Producers | Familia Chilito
Farm | Aponte
Process | Honey
Variety | Blend
Elevation | 1800-2100 masl
ROAST | LIGHT
ORIGIN | HUILA, COLOMBIA
NOTES | JASMINE, EARL GREY TEA, TURBINADO SUGAR
There's really only one thing you need to know about this coffee: it's a stunner.
Wilder Lasso grew up on a coffee farm, but until 2017, he was a veterinarian by trade! Something stirred in him while visiting his father's farm that year, and he - like so many other producers we've featured recently - left his day job behind to pursue specialty coffee. His background in genetics and insatiable love of learning led Wilder to begin a varietal program in Tocora which has since grown to include more than twelve different coffee varieties from various origins. He is passionate about specialty coffee and relentless in his pursuit of excellence, and those qualities are nowhere more apparent than in this incredible lot from Wilder's farm, Bella Alejandría.
This Gesha lot is an exceptional example of what meticulous and inventive processing methods are capable of producing when they are masterfully executed. The coffee went through two stages of anaerobic fermentation: first, it was submerged in muscilage for 200 hours before being pulped (this helps develop that truly remarkable floral and citric profile we all know and love in our favorite Gesha coffees!). Then, the coffee is refermented in the sun with indigenous lemon peel for 18 days. The result, if we haven't said it enough already, is truly outstanding.
This coffee has huge mouth feel, big florals, and all kinds of Gesha vibes. In the cup, we tasted jasmine, Earl Grey tea, and turbinado sugar. When describing it, one of our owners could only come up with: "It's amazing. Like, truly amazing." Cheers.
Producer | Wilder Lazo
Variety | Gesha
Process | Semi-washed anaerobic
Elevation | 1890 masl
ROAST | LIGHT MEDIUM
ORIGIN | URRAO, ANTIOQUIA, COLOMBIA
NOTES | SWEET CITRUS, BLACK CURRANT, CARAMEL APPLE
At 23 years old, Santiago Caro is one of the youngest producers with whom we've ever had the honor of working. Sporting an Armani Exchange polo and a flat bill snapback, Santiago is perhaps an unexpected figure against the backdrop of his family's farm, La Falda, nestled in the Antioquia department of Colombia.
But there's something else quite unexpected in this imagery: the coffee variety growing at La Falda is a rare mutation from Bourbon and Caturra varieties, and it's known as Chiroso. Over ten years ago, Santiago's father, José Arcadio, planted Bourbon Chiroso and Caturra Chiroso trees because he believed them to be more productive. He soon discovered that the coffee those trees produced is truly outstanding, and it has consistently received high marks at Colombia's Cup of Excellence in the years that have followed.
For his part, Santiago's mission is to help his family see their farm as a flourishing business, and he endeavors to see his neighbors get better prices for their coffees. The key to both of these goals, he explains, is consistent and exceptional processing. They are accomplishing this in large part due to the stainless steel tanks in which this particular Chiroso lot was fermented. After spending five days in the open-air tanks, the coffee was washed and hand-selected before drying.
When you think about it, Santiago can be seen as the very best of two worlds colliding in one person: the "old world" of his family's farm, traditions, and coffee quality; and the "new world" of his own entrepreneurial spirit and curiosity surrounding more advanced and consistent processing methods. The same can be said of this particular Chiroso lot. It is a collision of two coffee powerhouses - the variety's probable origins are in Ethiopia, but this lot is of course grown in the hills of Colombia. This coffee exemplifies the very best of both, taking on the big acidity and sweet citrus notes that we love from Ethiopian coffees while also showcasing the terroir of Colombia with big red fruits (like black currant) and amazing, dense sweetness. The whole experience reminds us of biting into a caramel apple - which is kind of funny, because some might say that's an unexpected collision of two great things, too.
Producer | Santiago Caro
Farm | La Falda
Process | Washed
Variety | Chiroso
Elevation | 1930 masl
ROAST | LIGHT
ORIGIN | KUBI, GEDEB, ETHIOPIA
NOTES | WHITE FLOWERS, LEMON CURD, FRESH PEACH, HONEY CANDY
If you've read about our other Ethiopian release this week - a lovely purple-label coffee named Riripa Natural - you've already been introduced to Neguesse Debela. He's the computer-guru-turned-coffee-entrepreneur behind SNAP Specialty Coffee, which seeks to provide specialty Ethiopian coffees processed "consistently and exceptionally." To this end, SNAP oversees three washing and processing stations throughout Ethiopia, including the Worka Chelbessa site where we acquired this outstanding anaerobic washed lot. (Neguesse's story of how he left computers for coffee is a fascinating one, and we've written more about it on the Riripa page!)
Worka Chelbessa purchases from 682 farmers in the surrounding villages, but this particular lot was sourced specifically from those smallholders in the Kubi village of Gedeb. The cherries were handpicked at peak ripeness and floated to remove any defects before being depulped and separated. The coffee underwent anaerobic fermentation in GrainPro bags and was then placed on raised drying beds for 10-14 days.
In the cup, you're going to experience everything we love about Ethiopian coffees. In fact, it's exactly what we want an Ethiopian coffee to taste like: full of vibrant floral characteristics, a bright citrus acidity, and really, really sweet. We perceived these characteristics as white flowers, lemon curd, fresh peaches, and honey candy. If Neguesse's primary goal is to show off immaculately processed Ethiopian coffees, this one ticks every box. Cheers.
Farmers | various smallholders
Process | anaerobic washed
Variety | various landraces
Elevation | 2200 masl