Steep hillsides of Finca El Paraiso. Photo courtesy The Coffee Quest.
Colombia fared an extreme lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic, creating dire conditions for the country's citizens. In early May, demonstrations and protests began over an ill-fated tax reform attempt by the government of President Ivan Duque. That plan has since been called off, but protests continue as long-standing concerns by citizens have reached a tipping point.
There are many blockades in place around roads and ports that are critical to coffee export. Many farmers and workers are sheltered in place. We have word that as of May 18th, everyone in the network of our trade partner The Coffee Quest is safe. While fairly well isolated, many producers are unable to move coffee through channels to bring in much-needed income.
The situation is complex, far too complex for us at H+S to give good representation. We highly encourage everyone reading this to visit the following links and read the stories of Colombians on the ground:
Coffee flavor profile:
Fruit punch, citrus, red stonefruits, vanilla, juicy, clean, vibrant.
How we sourced it:
In the face of the pandemic, our trader The Coffee Quest along with The Bean Project organized a competition in Huila. The goal of this competition was to generate some guaranteed income for farmers, and increase awareness of the amazing work being done in this community. We purchased the #3 placing coffee, a Caturra from Finca El Paraiso, run by producer Ernedis Rodriguez. Dubbed the Huila Magico competition, the coffee we purchased was truly magical!
This year, we were given the opportunity to sample Ernedis's full harvest. We enjoyed all of it, and chose his Lot #4 to be our first large purchase of 2021. This lot is comprised of Caturra and Java varietals, and offers a stunning sweetness and clarity of cup that has become part of Ernedis's signature on his coffee. Finca El Paraiso works about 7 hectares (17 acres) of coffee lands on very steep hillsides.
Coffee Quest has been working with Ernedis since 2016, and that relationship-- like many that H+S seeks to be involved with-- has created a positive cycle in which the coffee quality and premiums paid rise year over year. A high premium allows reinvestment into the farm, resulting in great quality harvests, which returns a higher premium. Some recent reinvestment includes an auto-sorting wet mill that drastically increases sorting efficiency, and an eco-washer that uses a fraction of the water normally used for washing.
How we roast it:
This is a dense bean, and as such, fits our favorite fast-and-hot profile to maximize sweetness and intensity. It is roasted to present a full host of tropical fruit sweetness while maintaining it's signature clean cup. A bit of body in the form of vanilla keeps this roast balanced.
How we drink it:
Like most of our Colombian offerings, this coffee plays well across all brewing methods.
Farm: Finca El Paraiso