lemon, raspberry, caramel
Pink Bourbon variety
A complex soft fruit experience is brought about in this Pink Bourbon by María Bercelia Martínez in Acevedo, Huila.
We are excited to work with María Bercelia Martínez and her project Finca Los Angeles for the first time. This farm is located just outside the town of Acevedo, in Southern Huila, not far from the big coffee industry centre of Pitalito. María has a long history in agriculture, having grown up in Nariño on a cattle farm. She moved with her husband to Putomayo in the far south of Colombia, and opened a hardware store. However, this was a time of great turmoil in the region, one of the worst affected by guerrilla violence and coca production. The couple were displaced from their house by the violence, and moved to Pitalito to start fresh. They eventually purchased the land that became Los Angeles in 2010, as they had heard that coffee production could be a profitable business. María and José had very little experience with coffee, so were initially aided by the Colombian coffee producing union, the FNC, and now grow coffee on 13.5 hectares. Although mainly planted with Colombia and Caturra, they also have small plots of Pink Bourbon and Geisha. This lot is an example of the former, depulped, fermented for 36 hours and washed. This rather long fermentation leads to a soft and complex fruit profile, with a crisp citrus acidity.
Coffees grown in Huila are highly prized in our industry, for several reasons. The mountainous terrain provides high altitudes and varying microclimates, leading to a diverse flavour spectrum throughout the area. Diversity is also encouraged by the large number of small farms, with those averaging between 1 and 3 hectares producing much of the coffee in the region. The small farms here mainly have their own processing facilities, both wet mills, where the coffee is pulped, fermented and washed, and space for drying the coffees. Huila is particularly exciting for speciality coffee due to its plentiful high altitude. The Colombian Andes split into 3 distinct ranges here, the eastern, western and central ‘cordilleras’. This high altitude leads to large day-night swings in temperature, which slows cherry maturation. Further down into the valley between the two cordilleras, lies a large area of jungle. Weather systems carry cool, moist air from the jungle up into the coffee growing lands, further lengthening the cherry maturation. All this leads to very intense, sweet and complex cups, but also to one of the main challenges of producing coffee in this region. The cool temperatures and high level of humidity mean that drying coffee can be a very difficult prospect here.
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