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El Crucero

A clean and transparent Colombian coffee, with fresh peach and raspberry notes followed by a crisp cocoa finish.

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La Real Expedición Botánica

We’re excited to release another coffee from our friends at La Real Expedición Botánica. La REB are a collective of coffee growers, who through their combined volume, are able to take care of their own quality control and management, and also their own export-import. La REB 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. La REB also provide us with a very high level of transparency, right down to the farm gate prices transferred from us to the producers for their unmilled parchment coffee.

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The Coffee Bonanza

This particular lot is from the farms overseen by La REB project leader Ana Mustafa, and is known as Crucero. Up until very recently, Ana was selling the coffee from her family’s five farms 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 strong 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 she now oversees along with her cousin. 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. Since La REB started in 2017 the members, including Ana, have gone on to provide advice to other farmers in Colombia based on their experience from those difficult first few years. They have now created a collective of farmers across Colombia, large enough to be able to deal with export and milling themselves, thus cutting out a middle entity in the coffee chain.

A 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 farms, and is processed using a method La REB 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, 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 also allows a high level of control over the fermentation; the amount of parchment added each day can control the speed of the fermentation, while avoiding over-fermentation by always adding fresh sugars. This also creates complexity, as very different fermentations will take place in coffee fermented from the first day, compared to coffee added later. The parchment coffee is then removed from the tank and allowed to rest for a further 48 hours to equalise in moisture content, before a gentle low temperature mechanical drying, again allowing for a high level of control over the final cup. 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 lingering cocoa finish.

We’re excited to continue our relationship with this ambitious collective. Two of the members, Ana Mustafa and Herbert Peñaloza, recently visited us in Copenhagen, and we were excited to hear more of their plans for the future, and to taste the results of some exciting experiments, as well as some of the coffees they are exporting this year through La REB. We expect to see more coffees from this project soon, and look forward to their ever improving quality.


Producer Ana Mustafa
Region Risaralda
Altitude 1550-1650 masl
Varietal Castillo
Process Washed
Harvest Dec’ 18 - Feb’ 19


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.


Espro press

Hario V60


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