Municipality: Tablón de Gomez
Farmers: Rafael and Leonela Burgos
Altitude: 2,150m above sea level
Variety: Caturra, Colombia
Processing: Fully Washed
Farm size: 1.5 hectares
Great clarity, lemonade like acidity with butterscotch, pink lady apples and milk chocolate. Black tea finish.
About Finca El Salado (with thanks to Melbourne Coffee Merchants):
This 100% Caturra micro-lot was produced by Rafael and Leonela Burgos on their small 1.5 hectare farm, El Salado, which is located near the town of Pompeya, in Eastern Nariño, Colombia.
Tucked away in the upper reaches of the beautiful Juanambú Canyon, Pompeya is so small that its narrow streets can’t be found in google maps. The town sits at a major crossroads —where the tropical climate of the Amazons meets the cold winds of the Andes. The unique geography and climate of Pompeya provide the perfect conditions to produce exceptional coffee.
Unfortunately, coffee isn’t the only plant that thrives in this region. Poppies (used to make opioids) do too — making the region a major target of drug related violence in the 1990s and early 2000s. As a result, Rafael and Leonela, who have owned their farm for over thirty years, have had to move around and on several occasions completely abandon their coffee farm.
Today, however, they are settled back in El Salado, and committed to building a long term and prosperous future that is tied to specialty coffee. They have all right conditions to do this – rich soil and a unique micro-climate that enables coffee to thrive at extremely high elevations – over 2,150m above sea level. It is typically very difficult to produce coffee at such high altitudes, however Nariño’s proximity to the equatorial line and steep hills around the volcanoes provide a great angle for sun exposure. The high altitude of cultivation combined with warm tropical days and cools nights allows for slow maturation and development of the coffee cherry, giving time for concentrated sugars to develop in the fruit and resulting in a very unique, sweet, and complex cup profile from this region.
Our export partner for this coffee, Pergamino, have worked hard in to pioneer the commercialisation of specialty coffee throughout Nariño, and have uncovered some stunning coffees and very dedicated producers in the process, like Rafael and Leonela. They work closely with the Burgos family to give them feedback on their coffees (provided by Pergamino’s expert team of cuppers) and provide top up payments when the coffee is sold at a higher premium.
HOW THIS COFFEE WAS PROCESSED
This coffee was processed using the washed method at each farm’s ‘micro-beneficio’ (mill).
The coffee was pulped using a small manual or electric pulper, and then placed into a fermentation tank, where it was fermented for 48 hours and then washed using cold, clean water.
The coffee is carefully dried on a raised bed with plastic over the top which acts to protect the coffee from the rain and prevent condensation dripping back onto the drying beans.
It was then carefully dried (over 10–18 days) on a raised bed with plastic over the top which acts to protect the coffee from the rain and prevent condensation dripping back onto the drying beans. This bed has adjustable walls to help with air flow, and temperature control to ensure the coffee can dry slowly and evenly.
Once dry, the coffee was delivered to Pergamino’s warehouse, where it was cupped and graded, and then rested in parchment until it was ready for export.