Colombia

Crucero

Round and rich peach and fresh raspberry notes are highlighted by a crisp note of almost underripe kiwi.
  • From our partners at the Colombian collective La Real Expedición Botánica.
  • A returning favourite from our friend Ana Mustafá’s farm in Pereira.
  • We visited Ana in November 2019 and were very impressed by the organisation and control she exerts over fermentation.
  • Notes: Peach, Raspberry and Kiwi

Expect notes of:

Peach

Raspberry

Kiwi

Ana Mustafa

This particular lot is from the farms overseen by LaREB project leader Ana Mustafa, and is known as Crucero. Up until very recently, Ana was selling the coffee from her family’s five farms to a pair of local cooperatives in the towns of Pereira and La Celia, at prices based on the commodity market. In Colombia, the coffee grower’s federation, the FNC, is able to demand a premium above the commodity price, but for most producers, the price is still far too low to create a sustainable business. The farms from which this lot is made up are located outside the town of Pereira in the Risaralda region. Pereira is approximately a 7 hour drive from Colombia’s capital Bogota, a relatively short distance in Colombian terms, but the landscape here is rather different. Green lush forests drape mountainsides in this grand old area, with a rich coffee producing history. During the ‘Coffee Bonanza’ of the 60’s and 70’s, Pereira, along with the cities of Manizales and Armenia, made up a triangle of strong coffee producing centres, with high prices allowing many producers to make good money and expand their growing lands. One of these was Ana’s grandfather, a Palestinian immigrant to Colombia, who initially worked as a fabric trader when he arrived in the country in 1930’s. The farm lands were split up amongst the younger members of the family upon his death, leaving Ana the five farms across Risaralda she now oversees along with her cousin; two near the town of La Celia and three near Pereira. In Risaralda nowadays, many producers have found it difficult to move on from the boom of the late 20th century. Many sold their lands during the last coffee crisis, meaning there are now a smaller number of very large industrial producers, being paid ever lower prices as the commodity price continues to plunge. Most of these have decided to combat this by lowering their cost of production, planting with more density and adding more and more fertiliser and pesticides in an attempt to up their yields. Ana is one of the only producers in the area who has taken the opposite approach, adding value to her coffee through quality and through integrating her supply chain.

Novel fermentation

One of the main ways that Ana has added value to her coffees is through novel fermentation methods. This lot of Castillo is named Crucero after a crossroads near the Pereira farms, and is processed using a method LaREB have dubbed ‘fed-batch semi-washed’. The aim is to create further complexity in the cup, while maintaining a high level of control over the fermentation process. Using this method, a first day’s picking is added to the fermentation tank, but then the next day’s picking is simply added and mixed in, adding new fuel for the fermentation through new sugars, but holding onto the yeast and bacteria cultures from the existing fermentation. For anyone familiar with making sourdough bread from a starter culture, the same rules apply here. This year the process has been refined, creating a cleaner cup and hopefully a longer shelf life. Each addition to the larger fermentation tank is now pre-fermented in cherry beforehand, adding to the juicy feel in the cup and a little more body and sweetness. This time water was added to the fermentation 12 hours after the second addition of depulped coffee. Normally in a large batch open air fermentation like this one, the fermentation reactions will cause the temperature to rise quite rapidly at this stage, leading to a runaway reaction and making the fermentation difficult to control. Adding water slows down this rise in temperature, allowing the coffee to finish fermenting cool and slow. Again sourdough bread bakers will recognise this technique from cold proving, allowing more complexity of flavour to build in the coffee. After 20 hours of this slow fermentation, the coffee is removed from the fermentation tanks and semi-washed, leaving some of the sticky mucilage on the coffee. This adds a funky edge to the cup, with some ferment-driven soft fruit notes. Finally, the mechanical drying was tweaked for this batch, harvested and fermented in week 43 of 2019. The coffee was first dried down to a moisture content of between 14 and 15%, then rested for three weeks before finishing the drying. This allows the moisture content to equalise throughout the coffee before the second run in the driers, allowing for a more even and gentle drying. This should help with both the clarity and the shelf life of the final coffee. This careful fermentation results in a complex fresh fruit filled cup, with crisp raspberry and soft peach character, alongside a heavy confected sweetness and a finish with notes of fresh and crisp kiwi.

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 both Ana and Herbert 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.

About La Cabra

A focus on raw material

If we don’t feel that a coffee suits our style or what we like to present, we simply won’t buy it. Sometimes this leads to issues in green buying; we have to pay very close attention, to a level of green quality that will support this approach, and to how this will develop over the life of a coffee. We are required to focus heavily on the freshness of coffee, both green and roasted, to avoid introducing taints into our cups. We always use clean and fresh water, of an ideal mineral content to present the coffee in its best possible light. Once we have the correct roasting profile, water, and coffee age, the act of brewing is much more simple. A wide variance in brewing parameters can still produce delicious and transparent cups. It is also important to note that this is not always the most consistent approach. The coffee is laid completely bare, so any flaw with the raw material is clearly on show. We could often develop some coffees slightly more, to make them more approachable or easy to work with, but wavering from our philosophy like this would compromise our commitment to complete transparency in coffee.

Read more

Technical
Data

Producer Ana Mustafá
Region Risaralda
Altitude 1550 masl
Varietal Colombia
Process Fed Batch Semi-Washed
Harvest Oct 2019

Process
Semi-Washed

The washed process involves completely removing both the cherry and the mucilage from the outside of the parchment with the use of friction, fermentation and water. After being harvested, the coffee cherry is then sliced open by either a metal or a sharp plastic blade. The two seeds (also known as beans) are pushed out of the cherry, which leaves the seed with mucilage as their outermost layer. It is essential in the washed process that all mucilage is removed from the seed which leaves only the flavor that developed in the cell structure of the seed prior to processing.

La Cabra

Brew Guides

You can brew our coffees any way you want it is just a matter of the right ratios.

Espresso

French-Press

V60

Aeropress

Get notified

Sign up to our email service to get notified with the release of new coffees.

Kr. 123,00

QTY:
Round and rich peach and fresh raspberry notes are highlighted by a crisp note of almost underripe kiwi.
  • From our partners at the Colombian collective La Real Expedición Botánica.
  • A returning favourite from our friend Ana Mustafá’s farm in Pereira.
  • We visited Ana in November 2019 and were very impressed by the organisation and control she exerts over fermentation.
  • Notes: Peach, Raspberry and Kiwi

Expect notes of:

Peach

Raspberry

Kiwi

Ana Mustafa

This particular lot is from the farms overseen by LaREB project leader Ana Mustafa, and is known as Crucero. Up until very recently, Ana was selling the coffee from her family’s five farms to a pair of local cooperatives in the towns of Pereira and La Celia, at prices based on the commodity market. In Colombia, the coffee grower’s federation, the FNC, is able to demand a premium above the commodity price, but for most producers, the price is still far too low to create a sustainable business. The farms from which this lot is made up are located outside the town of Pereira in the Risaralda region. Pereira is approximately a 7 hour drive from Colombia’s capital Bogota, a relatively short distance in Colombian terms, but the landscape here is rather different. Green lush forests drape mountainsides in this grand old area, with a rich coffee producing history. During the ‘Coffee Bonanza’ of the 60’s and 70’s, Pereira, along with the cities of Manizales and Armenia, made up a triangle of strong coffee producing centres, with high prices allowing many producers to make good money and expand their growing lands. One of these was Ana’s grandfather, a Palestinian immigrant to Colombia, who initially worked as a fabric trader when he arrived in the country in 1930’s. The farm lands were split up amongst the younger members of the family upon his death, leaving Ana the five farms across Risaralda she now oversees along with her cousin; two near the town of La Celia and three near Pereira. In Risaralda nowadays, many producers have found it difficult to move on from the boom of the late 20th century. Many sold their lands during the last coffee crisis, meaning there are now a smaller number of very large industrial producers, being paid ever lower prices as the commodity price continues to plunge. Most of these have decided to combat this by lowering their cost of production, planting with more density and adding more and more fertiliser and pesticides in an attempt to up their yields. Ana is one of the only producers in the area who has taken the opposite approach, adding value to her coffee through quality and through integrating her supply chain.

Novel fermentation

One of the main ways that Ana has added value to her coffees is through novel fermentation methods. This lot of Castillo is named Crucero after a crossroads near the Pereira farms, and is processed using a method LaREB have dubbed ‘fed-batch semi-washed’. The aim is to create further complexity in the cup, while maintaining a high level of control over the fermentation process. Using this method, a first day’s picking is added to the fermentation tank, but then the next day’s picking is simply added and mixed in, adding new fuel for the fermentation through new sugars, but holding onto the yeast and bacteria cultures from the existing fermentation. For anyone familiar with making sourdough bread from a starter culture, the same rules apply here. This year the process has been refined, creating a cleaner cup and hopefully a longer shelf life. Each addition to the larger fermentation tank is now pre-fermented in cherry beforehand, adding to the juicy feel in the cup and a little more body and sweetness. This time water was added to the fermentation 12 hours after the second addition of depulped coffee. Normally in a large batch open air fermentation like this one, the fermentation reactions will cause the temperature to rise quite rapidly at this stage, leading to a runaway reaction and making the fermentation difficult to control. Adding water slows down this rise in temperature, allowing the coffee to finish fermenting cool and slow. Again sourdough bread bakers will recognise this technique from cold proving, allowing more complexity of flavour to build in the coffee. After 20 hours of this slow fermentation, the coffee is removed from the fermentation tanks and semi-washed, leaving some of the sticky mucilage on the coffee. This adds a funky edge to the cup, with some ferment-driven soft fruit notes. Finally, the mechanical drying was tweaked for this batch, harvested and fermented in week 43 of 2019. The coffee was first dried down to a moisture content of between 14 and 15%, then rested for three weeks before finishing the drying. This allows the moisture content to equalise throughout the coffee before the second run in the driers, allowing for a more even and gentle drying. This should help with both the clarity and the shelf life of the final coffee. This careful fermentation results in a complex fresh fruit filled cup, with crisp raspberry and soft peach character, alongside a heavy confected sweetness and a finish with notes of fresh and crisp kiwi.

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 both Ana and Herbert 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.

About La Cabra

A focus on raw material

If we don’t feel that a coffee suits our style or what we like to present, we simply won’t buy it. Sometimes this leads to issues in green buying; we have to pay very close attention, to a level of green quality that will support this approach, and to how this will develop over the life of a coffee. We are required to focus heavily on the freshness of coffee, both green and roasted, to avoid introducing taints into our cups. We always use clean and fresh water, of an ideal mineral content to present the coffee in its best possible light. Once we have the correct roasting profile, water, and coffee age, the act of brewing is much more simple. A wide variance in brewing parameters can still produce delicious and transparent cups. It is also important to note that this is not always the most consistent approach. The coffee is laid completely bare, so any flaw with the raw material is clearly on show. We could often develop some coffees slightly more, to make them more approachable or easy to work with, but wavering from our philosophy like this would compromise our commitment to complete transparency in coffee.

Read more

Technical
Data

Producer Ana Mustafá
Region Risaralda
Altitude 1550 masl
Varietal Colombia
Process Fed Batch Semi-Washed
Harvest Oct 2019

Process
Semi-Washed

The washed process involves completely removing both the cherry and the mucilage from the outside of the parchment with the use of friction, fermentation and water. After being harvested, the coffee cherry is then sliced open by either a metal or a sharp plastic blade. The two seeds (also known as beans) are pushed out of the cherry, which leaves the seed with mucilage as their outermost layer. It is essential in the washed process that all mucilage is removed from the seed which leaves only the flavor that developed in the cell structure of the seed prior to processing.

La Cabra

Brew Guides

You can brew our coffees any way you want it is just a matter of the right ratios.

Espresso

French-Press

V60

Aeropress

Get notified

Sign up to our email service to get notified with the release of new coffees.

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