Orlay Ortiz, one of the cooperative leaders, with a farm puppy; Coffee blossoming prior to the 2016-2017 harvest at Finca Los Cambulos, one of the farms that makes up Meridiano; hillsides on the farm, showing just how steep the slopes in Tolima are. Click for full size versions.
black cherry, thyme, full body, sweet
|Producer||Alto Saldaña Growers Association|
|Region||Herrera & Rioblanco, Tolima, Colombia|
|Elevation||1500 - 1900 meters|
|Process||Fully Washed & Dried on Raised Beds|
|Variety||Caturra, Colombia, Typica & Catuai|
|Harvest||November 2017 - January 2018|
|Relationship||Seventh Year Direct Trade|
El Meridiano is a selection of lots from the Asociación de Productores de Café Especial del Alto Saldaña, or ASOCEAS. The growers' association is made up of nearly five dozen small scale coffee growers, each owning four to five hectares of coffee. The association is committed to producing quality coffee consistently every year, as well as providing technical assistance to its members. Most of the producers grow subsistence crops & shade trees alongside coffee, as their individual production is relatively small.
Together, these farms produce about one thousand 65kg bags annually, a mix of Caturra, Colombia, Tipica & Catuai varieties. Each family manually de-pulps, ferments and dries their coffee on greenhoused raised beds before delivering to the cooperative warehouse for evaluation. Each lot that is delivered is scored by cooperative staff to determine if it will be set aside as a single producer microlot or blended with lots of similar quality and branded with the Meridiano label. Coffees that score below the Meridiano quality mark are set aside and sold as lower grade specialty coffee.
Once separated, the Meridiano lots are sent to the dry mill for the final stages of processing. After the parchment is removed, the green coffee is mechanically sorted up to four times by size and density. It is then sorted again using a machine called an electronic eye, which removes any defects the mechanical sorting may have missed.
This degree of quality control at the dry mill is not a common process in most specialty coffee production. In fact, most coffees that receive an initial score go up a couple of points when the coffee is finished because of the strict milling procedures. Because of this remarkable consistency in quality, we've been eager to buy this coffee year after year; this is our seventh year working with ASOCEAS, and we look forward to many more to come.