This month for Specialty Estate we have something a little different – not one but two coffees from Colombia! Specialty Estate has always given us the opportunity to bring in unique coffees, and showcase the interesting stories that these coffees have to offer. We thought we’d put two Colombian coffees side by side, both with their similarities and differences, and let you our most discerning tasters decide which coffee you like the most. So read on, grab a bag of both, and let us know which coffee you liked the most.
This coffee hails from Acevedo – which is located in southern Huila, Colombia. This part of Huila has been nicknamed the Coffee Capital of Colombia – with specialty coffee from the area exported all over the world. Excellent climate conditions, higher altitudes, and volcanic soils all help to aid in the production of great coffee.
Norbey inherited the farm from his father 25 years ago. At first, he was happy producing export grade coffee, and followed on with the farming practices of his father. However, with the decline of the C-Market price (export price for Commodity coffee), Norbey knew that only focusing on commodity coffee would not be a sustainable practice long term.
He joined El Sena – a school in Colombia – where he learned to improve agricultural practices at his farm. He has also partnered with Cofinet, who are highly knowledgeable producers in Colombia themselves, and coffee importers into Australia. More recently Norbey has experimented with new varieties on the farm – such as this Tabi variety – as well as experimental processing techniques. The results of the above have seen coffee quality at the farm improve dramatically – leading to higher cupping scores and financial rewards for his crop.
Jairo Arcila – Finca Santa Monica
Located in Armenia – the Capital of the Quindio department in Western Colombia. The Arcila family are well known within the Australian specialty coffee community – with three generations of the family both owning and working on coffee farms. In the last few years, the family has started exporting their coffee themselves, with son Carlos moving to Australia and responsible for supplying great Colombian coffees to the Australian market.
The youngest generation of the Arcila family have been responsible for a dramatic shift in quality control practices at the farming and processing levels. After seeing the increased financial incentives, father Jairo has followed this new direction, reaping the rewards for producing a specialty product. The direct connection with roasters in Australia has created a feedback loop, and the increased understanding of what roasters are chasing, and the premiums they will pay for these unique coffees, have helped to strengthen practices at farm level.
This particular microlot is 100% Caturra. Cherries are carefully hand picked to ensure ripeness, before being exposed to an 18-hour dry anaerobic fermentation, and are then sun-dried on raised beds with the mucilage still intact. The honey processing helps to clarify the sweetness of this beautiful coffee.
It’s exciting to taste two coffees from the same country side by side. Both implement new anaerobic processing techniques, but for different amounts of time, and with different amounts of pulp left on the coffee. Jaio’s lot is also sun-dried with the mucilage on, whilst both coffees are different varietals and they’re grown in locations approximately 10 hours drive apart! Nevertheless, both taste delicious, so grab a bag of each and challenge yourself to decide on your favourite.
These coffees are available as part of our Specialty Estate program for the month of September.