Caturra, Castillo, Bourbon, Colombia
Dry Fermented, Washed, Dried on Raised Beds
April - July 2019
When our Coffee Team told us this was “the best Colombia coffee we’ve tasted all season,” we knew Colombia Agua Blanca had to be special.
This coffee is a bit of a time capsule. Grown by Nancy Milena in her hometown of Agua Blanca, this single-farmer lot features a distinctive flavor profile that’s become increasingly elusive in Colombia. In the wake of La Roya, the pervasive coffee leaf fungus, the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) began promoting a newly developed and highly productive coffee variety, Castillo. But as it became more and more popular, the more traditional varieties of Caturra, Bourbon, and Colombia became harder to find. And with them, their unique flavor profiles.
But not in Inzà. A tiny valley folded between the verdant mountains of Cauca, Inzá’s isolation has allowed it to retain a more traditional coffee landscape. The reason for it’s isolation, though, is far less romantic than you might assume. While rough roads and a remote location play a part, it was the heavy presence of the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) that cut this high valley off from the FNC’s campaign to spread new hybrid varieties.
Since the ceasefire in the summer of 2016, coffee growers in this region have been able to more safely transport their coffee to market and seek out organic certification, since certifiers had been wary of traveling to the region. And now the flavor profile this valley unwittingly preserved all these years is earning the region a well deserved reputation.
This is Nancy and her husband, Robin’s, first certified organic harvest, as part of the Pillimue Farmers Group. An independently organized collective of local farmers, the Pillimue Farmers Group’s members pool together coffee and resources to access outside markets.
This is our first, but certainly not our last, coffee from Inzá and we look forward to deepening our relationship with farmers like Nancy, whose coffee reminds us of that the experience of coffee is intimately entwined with a region’s history, culture, and the uncertain influence of time.
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