From what I can sense, Colombia is going through a revolution of inequality right now. We have some exceptional coffees queuing up to leave, with no guarantee of when. This is a relatively small issue for us. It does however feel like a global pattern, at the moment. How angry and frustrated would you feel, to down tools and stop your income to oppose the government? That’s no income. No food. Just to be heard. This is a huge movement with half of the Colombian states with roadblocks, stopping everything from moving. The shelves are empty and no one has mentioned Covid either…. it is a sad mess.
There is the bad news. The better news is that we bought Hernando’s coffee from our friends at Cofinet. Buying coffee from fourth-generation farmers as well as being exporters works really well for us. We have bought some exceptional coffees from these folk and there is so much more to come. Without sounding gullible, paying enough in the right places feels good.
Farm: Finca El Vergel
Farmer Hernando Chilhueso
Region: Gaitania, Tolima
Altitude: 1800-1900 Meters above sea level.
Roast: Light-Medium Filter.
Aromatics: Fruit | Body: Medium to creamy| Acidity: Soft/ Apple
At the first point of consumption, one could be excused for thinking this could turn into a simple, binary beverage of two parts. As opposed to on and off, this starts off as Apple and cocoa. Thankfully as soon as the heat starts to drop, the fruit opens up into white, delicate, super (couldn’t be sweeter) fruit sugars that you could get lost in. The body thickens up and the finish alternates between citrus and cocoa. As always one could be tempted to write a list of malic fruits that are almost there, but I would prefer you to feel that we have over-delivered, rather than promised with this coffee.
In filter 60-65g, a litre still holds as a great starting place.
Espresso. I really wasn’t expecting this to work. Numerically and visually this is a light roast, but it has soluble. In some ways, the lightness of the roast works as an advantage in terms of sweetness and acidity. I was really enjoying this from late 20’s (27-35) seconds. 1:2. So 17g in -34g out for milk-based and my preference is always making espresso longer than shots for milk.
Hernando and his family harvest everything by hand. Some 4 years ago, he took some advice from Tres Rayas Co-operative, to plant Caturra, rather than the more popular Castillo, to reach higher cup quality. 4,000 Caturra plants and three and a half years later, he has reached micro-lot quality. This lot was a clear winner for us.