29. March 2020

La Real Expedición Botánica Takeover

  • We are excited to welcome back our friends from LaREB to the subscription program, now for the fourth time.

  • We visited members of the collective in November last year and were very impressed by their commitment to producing delicious coffees, and providing better conditions for Colombian coffee farmers.

  • LaREB’s collective model allows them to support smaller or less experienced members with professional quality control and advice on various production steps, while integrating their supply chain and transferring more value back to producers.

  • Both coffees this month are from Huila-based Lizardo Herrera, a returning favourite and producer of some of our favourite lots from last year’s Colombian harvest.

  • The first coffee is a returning favourite, a complex and juicy Pink Bourbon lot from Lizardo’s farm, with an almost Kenyan-like blackcurrant character, followed by black tea and candied fruit, reminiscent of a fruit-flavoured black tea.

  • The second coffee is also from Lizardo, a crisp and clean mixed varietal lot consisting of resistant Tabi and Colombia varietals, with a slightly crisper gooseberry acidity and interesting spicy finish.

1 x coffee

Lizardo Herrera - Washed Pink Bourbon
(250g / 8.8oz)

Kr. 169,00

2 x coffee

Lizardo Herrera - Washed Tabi, Colombia
(250g / 8.8oz)
Lizardo Herrera - Washed Pink Bourbon
(250g / 8.8oz)

Kr. 239,00

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What is happening at
La Cabra

Here at La Cabra our month, like that of many others, has been dominated by the Coronavirus outbreak. We have temporarily closed one of our locations in Aarhus, and have started to focus on takeaway service from our main location in Graven, while also delivering products from our bakery within the city. We have been humbled by the response of our cherished home city, both in the shops and on our delivery runs to their homes. At the roastery we’ve closed for guests, and are working with a smaller production team to keep orders going out as efficiently as we can. Our founder Esben had to cut short his sourcing trip in Central America, and travel home from El Salvador at very short notice. The signals for this year’s harvest he saw in his short time in the coffee lands were positive, and it is always great to spend time with our partners Raul at Finca Santa Rosa, and Gilberto at Los Pirineos.

The response that we’ve received on our webshop has made us tremendously happy, it’s so inspiring that home brewers across the world are placing their trust in us in this strange time. It really means the world to our little team. Of course the volume of coffee we send out to our wholesale partners has dropped significantly, but we have been heartened by some great stories this week, like our friends 4850 in Amsterdam offering a takeaway service with suspended coffees for workers at a nearby hospital, and closer to home Fovl here in Copenhagen, who are making traditional Danish comfort food for their local community. Look out for updates on our social media for more stories like these, and how you can support our colleagues and friends in the industry.



La Real Expedición Botánica Takeover

This month’s subscription is being taken over by one of our favourite partners. La Real Expedición Botánica are a collective of coffee growers, who through their combined volume, are able to take care of their own quality control and management, and importantly also their own export-import. LaREB have influenced the quality of and exported some of the most exciting coffees we have tasted out of Colombia recently. From their base in Bogotá, they strive to increase the quality and consistency of many small producers’ coffees with support throughout the production process. The goal of the organisation is then to attempt to create relationships between these small farmers and roasters willing to make long term commitments to pay a fair price for their high quality coffees. This pooling of resources allows smaller or less experienced specialty producers the opportunity to have access to professional quality control and advice on topics such as varietals, fertilisation and fermentation. The structure of the collective also means they are able to integrate their supply chain, selling directly to roasters like us and circumventing paying a cut of their earnings to an export partner. LaREB also provide us with a very high level of transparency, right down to the farm gate prices transferred from roasters like us to the producers for their unmilled parchment coffee. Herbert Peñaloza, Director of Sales for LaREB, admits himself that this is essentially not a new idea, the same system used to work 100 years ago in the early days of Colombian coffee, when one member of a small group of farmers would travel to far off countries every year to sell the entire group’s coffee. Long-term subscribers may recognise Herbert as the producer of El Éden, a delicious honey-processed lot we shared through the subscription in late 2017.

We are excited to welcome coffees from LaREB back to our subscription program, now for the fourth time. After an extensive trip to visit members of the collective in November, we now feel we understand them and their mission better than ever. While spending time in the field with our friends Herbert and Ana from the collective, it was inspiring to see the genuine connection and empathy they feel for coffee professionals all along the chain, from fellow growers, all the way to roasters, coffee shop owners and consumers. These worlds are much farther apart than most care to think about, and understanding the needs of both a coffee farmer in rural Tolima scraping by selling coffee to local markets, and of high-end roasters in comfortable cities in the western world, takes true dedication from genuinely passionate people. This month we are showcasing one of our favourite examples of the work of the collective, and their method of providing their members with a route to market.



Lizardo Herrera

Producer of some of our favourite lots from Colombia last year, we’re excited to share coffees from Lizardo Herrera again this year. We were easily able to find both of Lizardo’s lots on a blind cupping table with our friends from LaREB in Bogotá in November last year. This is only the second time that Lizardo has been able to export his own single farm lots of coffee, having had his lots rejected by several exporters in Huila over the past several years. Lizardo has been aiming to produce very high quality coffee for some time, but also has a vision for the sustainability of his farm. He is also a certified beekeeper, and keeps several hives on the farm to produce honey for export. This program ensures a level of thought goes into the ecosystem on the farm almost by default; most widely used pesticides are harmful to bee populations, and the plants are of course kept well pollinated. Shade is also required for the bees, just like coffee. Many of the shade trees at Lizardo’s farm are over 50 years old, and were present at the farm already when his grandfather purchased it. It is quite a normal practice to completely clear the land before planting coffee, in fact it is advised by the Colombian coffee producer’s federation, the FNC, who favour a more ‘modern’ style of agriculture, with plentiful use of chemical inputs. Lizardo’s grandfather however had the foresight to understand the value of these trees, both for biodiversity and shade. Lizardo’s father then took over the farm, and ran it while maintaining his business as a compost producer. He took on large amounts of organic agricultural waste from around Palestina, and created compost which he then sold on. Lizardo has distilled all of this experience into what he does on the farm today, using very minimal artificial inputs such as fertilisers and pesticides, and using his bee population and a high level of biodiversity to ensure healthy plants.

Lizardo also grows a good selection of high-quality varietals, and follows strong fermentation protocols. He has a good idea of how he can affect flavour through fermentation, and aims for a slightly more ferment heavy character than most others in Huila. He thinks this is the reason that most exporters have rejected his coffees in the past. For both of these lots, he has used an in-cherry pre-fermentation of 12 hours, before de-pulping and further fermentation in mucilage. This second fermentation is rather long at approximately 48 hours, but due to the high altitude and cool conditions in Huila, this does not result in over-fermentation. Depending on the climate conditions, Lizardo may even have to ferment slightly longer, as the mucilage is not broken down enough to wash at this point.

1st coffee - Colombia

Lizardo Herrera - Washed Pink Bourbon

Blackcurrant, Black Tea, Candied Strawberry

(250g / 8.8oz)

The first coffee this month is from Lizardo’s stock of the Pink Bourbon varietal. Initially separated in the early 2000’s, some say that Pink Bourbon is a hybrid between yellow and red bourbon, and some that it is a natural mutation of the disease resistant Colombia varietal that ripens orange. What most agree however, is that the cherries ripen an orange/pink shade, somewhere between red and yellow variants, and the leaves are broad, in a similar fashion to Geisha trees. The varietal also often showcases Geisha-like qualities in the cup, with floral aromas and clean citrus notes. Here, the fermentation softens this citrus character into an almost Kenyan-like fresh blackcurrant, backed up by notes of black tea and candied fruit, finishing almost like a sweet artificial fruit-flavoured tea.

2nd coffee - Colombia

Lizardo Herrera - Washed Tabi, Colombia

Gooseberry, Blackcurrant Leaf, Ginger

(250g / 8.8oz)

This lot is of mixed varietals, from Lizardo’s Tabi and Variedad Colombia fields. Tabi is a disease resistant hybrid known for maintaining much of the complexity and quality of its 100% Arabica cousins, while Colombia is an older hybrid, with slightly more influence of its Robusta parentage. Lizardo is slowly replacing much of his older plant stock, but the high yields and hardiness of these original Colombia plants is hard to pass up as a farmer. The crispness of the Tabi is maintained through a gooseberry acidity, but the fermentation adds complexity, softening this into layers reminiscent of blackcurrant leaves and mint, while the influence of the Colombia is clearer in an interesting spice character in the finish, almost like ginger.

The trailblazing work of LaREB

We’re excited to share two coffees from Lizardo this month, a great example of the trailblazing work of LaREB in interrupting the normal coffee supply chain in Colombia. They specialise in providing a route to market for many producers who produce delicious and thought-provoking coffees that don’t fit the mould that large exporters are looking for. Their genuine drive to represent the interests of their fellow Colombian ‘caficultores’ is inspiring to see, and we hope that you enjoy joining us in supporting their work this month.

Stay bright and curious - John Gibson

Subscribe to get this months coffees

Available from the 29th of March to the 23th of April

1 x coffee

Lizardo Herrera - Washed Pink Bourbon (250g / 8.8oz)

Kr. 169,00

2 x coffee

Lizardo Herrera - Washed Pink Bourbon (250g / 8.8oz)
Lizardo Herrera - Washed Tabi, Colombia (250g / 8.8oz)

Kr. 239,00
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Two Unique Coffees Every Month

La Cabra is a modern coffee roastery based out of Aarhus and Copenhagen, Denmark. Every month we ship out two unique coffee experiences and provide insight into how these coffees were grown and processed by talented producers.

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