Elkin Guzman - Strawberry Catiope
MEET THE PRODUCER | Elkin Guzman comes from a storied history of coffee farming, processing, and selling - his family has been in the business for over 70 years, the latter twelve of which have been largely dedicated to pioneering and perfecting post-harvest processing techniques. For his part, Elkin has championed these efforts, combining different approaches to fermentation and drying techniques which complement the inherent characteristics of each individual lot from their farm in the small village of El Portal, Colombia.
TRUST THE PROCESS | For this Catiope lot, Elkin chose a unique and innovative processing method he calls, "Strawberry Natural." In this process, only coffee cherries which measure above 20 degrees Brix are harvested. They then undergo two rounds of sorting (via flotation and by hand) before being placed in plastic tanks to ferment for 60 hours. After this initial bout of fermentation, a mother culture of microorganisms is added to the tanks. These microorganisms have been fed molasses and strawberries for four days prior to encountering the coffee cherries, which gives them energy for fermentation and contributes flavor to the lot. The coffee is then left to ferment with this strawberry-infused culture for an astonishing 270 hours before being dried on raised beds until it reaches 10.5-11% humidity.
TAKE A SIP | We've had the privilege of hosting this unique coffee on our menu in years past, and this particular lot is an excellent reminder that coffee - even when subjected to the same processing - is a natural product, and therefore variable and ever-changing. At the cupping table, we expected this coffee to have big, intense flavors that sort of hit us over the head while yelling, "STRAWBERRIES!" But, it didn't. This year's lot is a little more integrated and balanced (dare we say, a little more subtle?), leaning into the creamier side of things. Notes of strawberry jam, fresh peaches, and a delightfully unexpected coconut cream flavor culminate in a drinking experience that reminds us of sipping strawberry piña coladas poolside.
Origin | El Portal, Huila, Colombia
Producer | Elkin Guzman
Farm | Finca El Mirador
Process | Strawberry Natural
Variety | Catiope
Elevation | 1550 - 1750 masl