Discovery Subscription (2021, 7) - Back to Colombia
Back to Colombia
This month we are sharing coffees from one of our favourite origin countries, Colombia.
Colombia is one of the most diverse origins that we buy from, with each region having unique climatic and socio-economic factors leading to unique coffees.
Recent unrest in Colombia has brought to light the continuing inequality in the country, and the deeply structural lack of opportunity for many disadvantaged groups.
These coffees come from rather different regions, and rather different modes of production.
The second is produced by a group of native Inga people in Eastern Nariño, and is a softer honey process lot, driven by stone fruit notes.
1 x coffee
El Paraiso - Washed Caturra & Castillo (250g / 8.8oz)
2 x coffee
El Paraiso - Washed Caturra & Castillo (250g / 8.8oz)
Aponte - Honey Caturra (250g / 8.8oz)
One of our favourite origins
Colombia, while one of our favourite origins in terms of the coffees it produces, has a rather troubled recent history. The struggle for peace among atrocities committed by both Guerilla and Paramilitary groups is well-documented, but
the continuing systemic inequality and corruption has only been brought to Western media attention by recent anti-Government protests. We have the good fortune of partnering with passionate, hardworking and quality-focused coffee producers
all over the world, many of whom live under circumstances that involve struggles for equity and political representation, which we simply do not face in our part of the world. The current protests in Colombia are an example of this
global divide in basic economic welfare and equity. We feel great sympathy for the daily struggles of the people of Colombia, who still face an uphill battle to create a society that by Scandinavian standards can be called equitable
We hope for a resolution to the current situation that can benefit all, and remove barriers that have been in place for generations.
El Paraiso - Washed Caturra & Castillo
Crisp lot from the Cauca Valley
This lot comes to you courtesy of Diego Bermudez, who has become somewhat of a revered producer of coffee in recent years. The success of his farm El Paraiso in several competitions, including a number 3 finish in the 2020 Cup of Excellence, has led to recognition around the coffee world. However, Diego is not only an excellent producer of coffees, but somewhat of an inventor, having created many new processing methods and equipment during his time in coffee. This lot is part of his processing experimentation, and is made up from cherry he has purchased from farmers that surround him. In order to create consistently high quality lots, Diego’s equipment company INDESTEC has created the Eco-Enigma machine, which was used to process this lot. After an initial fermentation of 36 hour, depulping and washing, the Eco-Enigma dries the parchment coffee down to 11% humidity using hot air circulation. Condensation and recirculation are used in order to minimise the environmental impact of mechanical drying, while enabling consistent and accurate drying of coffees, regardless of climate conditions. This lot is then allowed to showcase a clean representation of it’s Cauca Valley terroir, with a crisp apple-like acidity balanced by a rich sweetness to create a classic washed
Aponte - Honey Caturra (sub early access)
Rich honey process from Nariño
This coffee was grown by the Inga people, a native group to the mountains of Nariño, closely related to the Inca. During the Spanish conquest of South America, the Inga remained isolated high in the mountains, still living as they always had, untouched by the influence of settlers. This was until they were taken advantage of, and used as a production workforce for crops such as poppies and marijuana by paramilitary groups and drug traffickers from the mid-late 20th century onwards. During the early 2010’s, as the Colombian peace process began to take shape, many of the Inga people began to turn their agricultural expertise to coffee. The conditions here, with incredibly high altitude and the volcanic soils of the Galeras volcano, lead to very high quality of raw material, mainly of the traditional 100% Arabica varietal Caturra. The Inga people banded together, selling their coffee to local buyers as ‘Aponte’, the name of the small town that their land surrounds. Each farmer processes their own coffee, in this case using the honey method, and delivers it to a central cooperative for grading and lot creation. Ally Coffee have worked with the Inga people of Aponte since 2015, and though we have tasted their coffee several times, this is the first time we have purchased a lot. This lot has a crisp and intense acidity like we’d expect from high altitude Nariño coffees, but is balanced by a deep rich sweetness reminiscent of stone fruit, enhanced by the honey process.
Colombia is a beautiful and diverse country, producing beautiful and diverse coffees. From the ultra high-end coffees produced by well-resourced producers with direct access to and awareness of the specialty market, to those produced by small scale farmers in remote rural areas high in the mountains. This month’s coffees from Diego and the Inga community of Aponte illustrate this divide rather well, while each is a high quality example of the diversity possible in modern coffee in Colombia.
The opportunity to share new experiences
Our Discovery Subscription allows us the opportunity to share new experiences with you every month, taking you with us on our journey through the changing seasons of coffee. This allows you the opportunity to taste new lots from across
the coffee landscape as they arrive at our roastery, when they’re fresh and in season. We strive to find the most delicious and thought-provoking coffees we can get our hands on, working together with a group of innovative and dedicated
partners we have met over our years in the industry. We are inspired not only by sharing their painstakingly created raw material, but by conveying how each step of its journey has led to what you find in your cup, be it terroir, varietal,
post-harvest processing, or something else entirely.
We always aim to tell a story
One of the best ways to appreciate the effect of these factors is to taste coffees side by side. Our most popular option allows you to experience two coffees every month, maybe different varietals or processes from the same farm or region,
or maybe two parallel lots from producers at opposite ends of the coffee belt. We always aim to tell a story with our coffee choice, focusing on a different aspect of what we’re finding exciting in coffee right now. Sharing these experiences
each month allows us to expand our coffee horizons together, and develop a shared vocabulary within both taste and preference in coffee.
We’re always happy to continue our conversation with you through our webshop portal, whether it be purely practical, or discussions about this month’s coffees. We see our role as simply a middleman between you and some of the best coffees in the world, and the people who produce them. These people inspire us, and we do our utmost to share both their coffees and their stories with the people who appreciate them most.