Approaching Finca San Pedro from the nearby town of Acevedo; Ceramic processing tanks where cherries are fermented for 24 hours; Tambo cherries, a type of Castillo varietal, ripening on the tree; Alexander Oriñez showing off his parabolic drying beds; Sunset over the central and eastern cordilleras Click for full size versions.
jammy red fruit, thick sweetness, black currant, dense layered acidity
|Region||Las Bateas, Acevedo, Colombia|
|Process||Fully Washed & Dried on Parabolic Beds|
|Variety||Tabi & Colombia|
|Relationship||First Year Direct Trade|
Los Naranjos is the first of two microlots we purchased in the Acevedo area with the help of our friends at Collaborative Coffee Source and Fairfield Trading. For the last several years, we have worked with CCS to source coffees from East Africa; last year, we began working with CCS in Colombia, as well. In December 2016, barismo joined CCS on a trip to Acevedo to participate in the inaugural Acevedo Cup, a coffee competition designed to motivate producers in this emerging region to further invest in quality. Together with CCS, FFT, and several other roasters, we cupped through 58 lots of coffee and narrowed them down to the top 20, all of which were awarded price premiums. This lot from producer Alexander Oriñez won third place overall.
Although Alexander has been a coffee producer for most of his 37 years, 2016 was only his second year working with Fairfiled Trading to invest in improving his coffee's quality. With the technical advice provided by FFT's staff, Alexander has overhauled the way cherries are harvested, paying his pickers more to pick only the perfectly ripe cherries. He also built a new fermentation tank out of mayólica, a ceramic-like material whose porosity results in a slower, more controlled fermentation process. After a 24 hour fermentation, Alexander washes the coffee twice with water from the surrounding mountains to remove any remaining mucilage sticking to the beans. Coffee is then carried up a steep ladder to a parabolic drying bed, perched above the family's home, where the coffee is left to dry.
Next year, Alexander plans to introduce a pre-soak, which will allow him to skim off the "floaters," the lower-density cherries that float to the top of the water, a process known in Colombia as the balseo. In the past, Alexander has had some lots rejected by FFT because of their yield factor, the amount of un-milled parchment coffee it takes to create one bag of milled green coffee that meets quality standards for export. By removing under-ripe cherries and other defects, the balseo process would ensure that Alexander's lots more consistently meet FFT's quality standards. We're impressed with the quality that Alexander, a relative newcomer to the specialty industry, has already managed to achieve, and we're excited to see what's in store for Finca Los Naranjos in the coming years.