Ciro Lugo and his son, Alberto, at Finca San Pedro; Ciro and Alejandro Renjifo of Fairfield Trading; Fermentation tank and shallow tank (left), used for skimming off floaters before cherries are depulped, Alberto shows off the family's new parabolic drying bed; Paloma the horse looking over the surrounding La Marimba area.
black cherry, craisin, hint of thyme, zippy malic-citric acidity
|Region||La Marimba, Acevedo, Colombia|
|Process||Fully Washed & Dried on Parabolic Beds|
|Harvest||October - November 2016|
|Relationship||First Year Direct Trade|
Los Naranjos is the second 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; 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 Ciro Lugo won sixth place overall; Ciro was the only producer to have two lots score in the top 20.
Finca San Pedro is situated in the vereda of La Marimba, a village where much of the region's top coffee is grown. His son, Alberto, is a leader in the community, working with many of the family's neighbors to improve coffee quality throughout the region. Processing methods at Finca San Pedro are exemplary, with a shallow tank for skimming off under-ripe cherries, pristine mayólica tanks where cherries are fermented for 20-24 hours, an unlimited supply of mountain water used for 5-7 rounds of washing post-fermentation, and a brand new parabolic drying bed designed to allow for maximum airflow. This new drying bed is a major improvement for the Lugo family -- their old drying bed was only 12 square meters, which meant that at the peak of the harvest season, there was not enough space to dry all of the coffee evenly. Now, with a new 47 square meter bed, all lots can be dried slowly and thoroughly. In 2016, not a single lot was rejected by Fairfield Trading due to drying issues.
Increased drying capacity is particularly important given the climactic shocks that Colombia has seen in the last year. Most Colombian coffee-growing regions experience two distinct harvests; Acevedo typically has a main harvest from October to December and a smaller harvest, known as the mitaca, from May to August. Last year, because of unusual rainfall patterns over the summer, the mitaca produced only very small amounts of coffee. The majority of the region's production was shifted to the main harvest at the end of 2016. With such an intense and concentrated harvest season, many growers struggled to find enough labor to pick their coffee and enough space to dry it evenly. The Lugo family's construction of their new drying bed will ensure that they are well-equipped to maintain their coffee's quality in years to come, despite the serious obstacles posed by climate change.